In less than a fortnight the Turnbull government's new childcare package will kick in. When it does, many families and children in my electorate of Paterson will be worse off.
This new package isn't about giving our kids a good educational start in life; it's about money. It's about getting parents and carers out the door and into the workforce and, whilst that's very important, I believe children deserve equal access to education and support no matter where they live or how much their parents earn.
I was recently contacted by a constituent who was concerned about her daughter, Chelsea, and her young family. Chelsea is a stay-at-home mum to a one-year-old and a four-year-old. Her partner works as a trainee. Under the Turnbull government's new childcare measures, Chelsea cannot send her four-year-old to preschool to prepare
for big school. Her options under the government's new scheme are clear: she should either care for both children full time or she should return to the workforce.
This new package ignores the benefit of children regularly accessing early education services and stands to disadvantage the families who are most vulnerable. The ones who stand to lose will be our children, and particularly our children from lower-income families who so desperately need and deserve to have preschool and that fantastic start to their education.