The Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme and expanded investment in child care lifts workforce participation, reduces cost of living pressures and ensures that Australian children have the best start in life.
Paid Parental Leave
Since its introduction in 2011, over 280,000 working parents have benefitted from Paid Parental Leave (PPL). Many new mothers, including casual and contract workers, now have access to paid leave for the first time. Since 2011, the proportion of women with access to paid parental leave has increased from around 50 to 95 per cent.
The scheme will be strengthened from 1 March 2014 by allowing parents to include time on PPL in the PPL work test for subsequent births, treating paid parental leave in the same way as employer-paid parental leave. Around 1,300 more families will be able to access PPL as a result.
Child care support more than doubles
Since 2007, support for child care has grown by 115 per cent. In this Budget the Government continues its strong record of improvements in early childhood, making investments to improve both the quality and affordability of child care.
In this Budget the Government will establish the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund for childcare workers. From 1 July 2013, the fund will help eligible long day care providers attract and retain a highly qualified workforce and meet the National Quality Framework.
The Government has also announced $12.9 million over three years to increase child care accessibility and provide more flexible child care through a series of trials with industry, business and child care operators.
The Government will provide $660.1 million to continue the National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (NP ECE), ensuring universal access to preschool. The funding includes $4.5 million in Commonwealth only expenditure. This new agreement will help maintain service delivery and provide a greater focus on Indigenous, vulnerable and disadvantaged children.