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Child care review: cuts to come

The Abbott Government must guarantee that no family will be worse off as a result of the Terms of Reference for a Productivity Commission review of child care policy, according to Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood.

The Terms of Reference include a funding freeze and raise the prospect of cuts to existing services to fund nannies and au pairs.

“The only commitment the Abbott Government has made  is that there will be no more money for child care” said Ellis.

“Without additional funding, nannies and au pairs can only come at the expense of services that low and middle income families rely on.

“The hundreds of thousands of families who rely on child care can be rightly concerned by the terms of this enquiry.

“This review is designed to justify swinging cuts to the services families rely on.

“Last time the Productivity Commission reviewed child care they recommended means-testing, and the Minister has refused to rule it out.”

Ellis said that Tony Abbott has already promised to attack the quality of child care – cutting the wages of early childhood educators and putting qualification requirements ‘on hold’.

“What else is he planning to cut?” Ellis said.

“Will parents have their child care payments means tested so Mr Abbott can provide subsidies for nannies?

“Will programs for disadvantaged and at risk children be cut to fund au pairs?”

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