Building a brighter future for childcare
Updated: 7 days ago
The NSW Government 10-year plan to reform childhood education and care
The NSW Government have locked in a $775 million commitment over the next four years to drive down childcare costs and increase the number of places. Under the new plan the State Government will provide grants to private childcare operators to expand or build brand new childcare centres. This will create an extra 47,000 childcare places across the state. This equates to 470 brand new childcare centre developments at 100 childcare places each. This boost will ensure tens of thousands of women can return to the workforce.
Some of the planned initiatives include grants up to $5000 for clothes, training and technology to help mothers re-enter the workforce and in a bid to help them return to work earlier. The paid parental leave scheme will also be overhauled to scrap the distinction between "primary" and "secondary" carers with every mother and father in the public sector to be entitled to at least 14 weeks of paid parental leave.
Overall, this is a $5 billion package, to be spent over the next 10 years in a bid to boost the childcare workforce, including $25,000 university scholarships for early childhood teachers.
This is the first time the NSW Government has intervened in childcare, which has been run by the Federal Government through fee subsidies up until now. The Federal Labor Government committed to lifting the maximum childcare subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families first child in care, during their election campaign. They also committed to increasing subsidy rates for every family with one child in care earning less than $530,000 in household income. The NSW Government have realised the scarcity of childcare places within NSW and have been forced to step in and meet supply demands. In some areas of NSW there are as few as one childcare place for every seven children. Data provided to the NSW Treasury showed that 568,700 (35.2%) NSW children aged four and under live in a childcare desert. In a combined effort between the NSW Government’s budget policy and the Federal Labor Governments planned increase to subsidise fees, 95,000 women should be able to re-enter the workforce or increase the hours they work over the next decade.
NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet said: “We know that childcare places are scarce in some postcodes, making it difficult for parents to return to paid work when they want. Improving accessibility to childcare by investing in supply will provide practical assistance to families with young ones… My Government is focused on building a brighter future for our state by helping people pursue their hopes and aspirations. That is what this transformational policy will do”.
Treasurer, Matt Kean, has said investing in childcare is the best way to improve women’s economic opportunity, increase female workforce participation and close the gender pay gap. Mr Kean said: “Childcare costs impede the dreams of women across NSW because many women are only able to keep about 30 cents in each dollar they earn when they return to work”.
NSW Minister for Women, Bronnie Taylor said: “This once-in-a-generation scheme will mean women no longer need to choose between work or caring for their children. This package will help break the childcare drought by targeting areas with the least access to affordable childcare, which poses the highest disincentive to parents returning to work”.
Mollard property group are committed to building a better future for our children. Discover the real value of developing, leasing or owning a childcare centre… talk to the experts that make it child’s play! Contact us now.