10 June 2020

Lisa Bryant: “Let’s look at who the decision to go back to charging for childcare will hurt the most and it’s easy to see the ideology these beliefs are coated in. Going back to paying for childcare will hurt women. The announcement isn’t just that childcare is no longer free — it is also that the first group of employees to have the jobkeeper tap turned off in Australia will be childcare educators. A group that is 97% female and already among the lowest paid workers in Australia. Apparently Australia is a country that gives subsidies to male tradies to fix up houses for those rich enough to afford them but takes subsidies away from those who don’t earn enough to even dream of home ownership. It will also hurt mothers. No matter how much people would like to consider childcare as something required by both parents, we know that it is almost always the woman who drops her job to look after children when childcare becomes unaffordable, because the reality is that women earn less in Australia than men do. … Children are clearly the absolute losers. While the government can pretend childcare and early education are two separate things, they are not. Going back to a system that makes a child’s early education dependent on its family capacity to pay for it, will mean children, especially the ones who need it most, will invariably miss out.”