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‘There is something broken in the childcare model’: Senate Committee calls for childcare shake-up

Calls for a status quo shake-up in the childcare industry will attract the ire of unionists, as pushes to ditch onerous staff-to-child ratios and relax childcare worker qualifications come to the fore.

The Senate select committee on red tape has called for a review into the National Quality Framework, which regulates both staffing ratios and worker qualifications. It’s thought cutting down on some of these stringent requirements could put much needed downward pressure on childcare costs.

Senator David Leyonhjelm hopes this could be a start in fixing what’s become a highly problematic childcare system.

“The Government didn’t pay for childcare at all about a decade ago. Now it costs close to $9 billion. It’ll be $10 billion very soon,” explains Senator  Leyonhjelm.

“That’s an enormous amount of money out of the pockets of taxpayers. What kind of public policy outcome is being achieved that justifies that sort of money?”

“The government is really making a terrible mess of it. And whose paying for it? The taxpayers, many of whom don’t have children.”

Michael agrees that childcare costs are illogically high, noting that government’s tendency to give rebates to render childcare more affordable is counterproductive. It simply acts as an incentive for childcare providers to charge more.

“Clearly there is something broken in the childcare model,” says Michael.

“In Australia, it can be more expensive to send a three-year-old to an early childhood education facility then it is to send a fifteen-year-old to the best private school in town.”

“That is clearly ridiculous. Something is wrong.”

“Is it the wages of the staff, the fact that they’re now overqualified and demanding too much money? Is it the ratio of staff-to-pupils that is driving this lack of affordability?”

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