Senator McKenzie has welcomed the announcement by the Coalition that a proposed Productivity Commission inquiry would focus on making sure that childcare was more accessible, affordable and flexible for parents.
The terms of reference for the inquiry include consideration of ‘the particular needs of rural, regional or remote parents’.
“There are a number of communities in central and northern Victoria where families still struggle to obtain a reliable and regular childcare service,” Senator McKenzie said.
“The lack of services also impacts on the community in terms of attracting and retaining professional people.
“This makes it very difficult for both parents to return to work, but also for families to remain in central and northern Victoria.
“For every family that leaves our region it weakens the local economy and acts as a skills drain for the area.
“A Grattan Report released earlier this year found the value of Australia’s gross domestic product could increase by $25 billion if there were more women in the workforce.”
The proposed Terms of Reference for the Coalition’s Productivity Commission inquiry into childcare also includes consideration of:
§ the current hours parents work or study, or wish to study;
§ the particular needs of shift workers;
§ the out of pocket costs of child care to families;
§ rebate and subsidies available for each type of rebate; and
§ the needs of vulnerable or at risk children.
Senator McKenzie said the Coalition was focused on providing a more accessible and affordable childcare system for families.
“The Coalition wants regional and rural families to have similar choices to that of their urban counterparts when it comes to childcare decisions.
“The proposed inquiry will identify how we can improve the current system to make it more responsive to the individual needs of families.”