“Investment in early learning is crucial for our kids but it can’t be delivered off the backs of poorer families and new mothers,” Australian Greens spokesperson for Early Childhood Education and Care, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
"The Abbott Government has shown its true colours when it comes to supporting working mothers by cutting Paid Parental Leave and locking half of all new mothers out of accessing the scheme - robbing new families of $11,500 each.
"If there was ever an example of what a woeful Minister for Women Mr Abbott is, this is it. Taking Australia backwards on Paid Parental Leave is simply shameful and ill conceived.
“Whilst there are some encouraging measures in the Governments child care package, I am greatly concerned some kids are going to have their days reduced or miss out altogether,
“Under the new activity test poor kids are going to be hardest hit and in the long run will not be school ready.
“If the government believes early learning for low income families is important then they should be listening to the experts and delivering a minimum of 2 days of care.
“As it stands this package does nothing to address the very real issue of waiting lists.
“Without tackling waiting lists parents will be put in an impossible situation. We need to offer parents flexibility particularly for those taking on casual or seasonal work. There is nothing flexible in here.
“How does the government expect parents to take on more hours, find and secure a childcare place and meet the activity test? The mind truly boggles.”
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