I'm a single mother with two beautiful kids. I have severe premature arthritis, and I'm often unable to work because simple tasks like cleaning up after my kids can leave me in agonising pain. My arthritis isn't covered by the disability pension, so childcare subsidies were a real lifesaver for me and my family. It meant that I could afford to send my kids to childcare and give them the start in life every child deserves.
I wanted to share my story with the GetUp community because the government is planning to introduce a minimum work test for childcare subsidies, which will deny parents who work or study less than 24 hours a fortnight access to affordable childcare. Without these subsidies, tens of thousands of parents like me won't be able to send their kids to childcare, meaning our kids will risk falling behind before they even start school.
The Minister for Social Services Scott Morrison is planning to introduce the minimum work test in the upcoming Budget. But if enough of us sign this petition we can get him to rethink this unfair policy before it gets passed into law!
While families earning less than $55,000 will be exempt from the minimum work test, they will have their current 2 days of subsidised childcare cut in half. This isn't long enough for kids to gain the social and educational benefits of childcare, while parents will have less time to study or look for work.
Subsidised childcare is essential in helping parents find work - especially if you're a new mum, a single parent, have been out of the workforce for a while, or live in an area of high unemployment. If we don't have subsidised childcare, who will look after our kids when we apply for jobs? And which employer will hire us if we take them along to the job interview?
Access to subsidised childcare isn't just essential for parents, it's fundamental for our kids. Having at least 2 days of childcare improves kids' performance across the board - from higher marks, to increased attentiveness, to the ability to make friends. I know this first hand, my son didn't start talking until he started childcare, and now he's the top of his class!
Subsidised childcare has helped my family so much. Let's stand together to make sure no families are left behind.
7th of May 2015