With childcare occupying the minds of most parents with young children 24/7 She Brisbane thought the following ABC News article by Caroline Winter would interest our readers.
A national nanny pilot program aimed at helping parents juggle work and family has been slashed in the mid-year budget update, less than two years after it was introduced.
Only 200 families had joined the scheme, so the Federal Government decided to cut $170 million from the $246 million trial.
The trial was announced last year by Treasurer Scott Morrison, the then Social Services Minister.
The mid-year budget update detailed the $170 million cut over the next two years was due to a lower than anticipated take up rate.
The trial started in January and was expected to benefit 4,000 families unable to access mainstream child care.
By May, 3,000 families had applied, but only 60 signed on.
And despite an increase to the subsidy in June, at years’ end just 213 families had joined up — a fraction of what was expected and budgeted for.
Anne Marie Sansom, president of the Australian Nanny Association, said the way the subsidy was set up, it was more expensive than they had thought it would be for families with one or two children.
“Whereas families with three or four or more children, it’s actually quite affordable,” she said.
Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, said the program had been a dud from the beginning.
“Originally this was a program that the Government promised 10,000 children could participate in, so we can see the program has been a failure it’s been an expensive failure.”
The Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, defended the scheme and said it was a trial, and would be evaluated at its conclusion.
“This niche program was designed to see whether there was good support that could be provided in an effective way for people who fall out of being able to access regular child care, because of the hours they work or where they live,” he said.
“We’ll evaluate it at the end of the pilot.”
‘The nanny program was going to increase my childcare costs.’