Doorstop Interview – Nicholls – Monday 31 July 2023

 THE HON JASON CLARE MP
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION 

THE HON DR ANNE ALY MP
MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
MINISTER FOR YOUTH

E&OE TRANSCRIPT
DOORSTOP
MONDAY, 31 JULY 2023 

SUBJECT: Cheaper Child Care  

JASON CLARE, MINISTER FOR EDUCATION: Good morning, everyone. Can I thank Blanca and Chris for welcoming us into their home this morning, and especially to little Paloma, three and a half, for letting us come and say hello to you and see your home before you go off to child care this morning. 

I’m here with Anne Aly, the Minister for Early Education, to talk about the impact that our Cheaper Child Care laws are already having. 

Over the Parliamentary break our Cheaper Child Care laws came into effect, and they’re providing extra financial support for 1.2 million families right across the country, including Blanca and Chris and little Paloma. 

Apart from the mortgage or the rent, child care is one of the biggest costs that a lot of families pay, and the changes that we have made are really important. They’re putting money back into people’s pockets and making a real difference for people right across Australia. 

By making child care cheaper that means more money in families’ pockets but it also gives families choice. The choice, if they want to, to go back to paid work, to work more hours, to work more days. That’s exactly what’s happening here with Blanca, who with Paloma going back to child care five days a week gives Blanca the opportunity to go from three days to four days. 

This is really the trifecta. When you make child care cheaper it’s good for children, it’s good for parents and it’s good for Australia. 

It’s good for children because every day in early education gets you better prepared for school. It’s good for parents because it helps with the cost‑of‑living. And it’s good for the whole country because it means more skilled workers like Blanca are back at work helping the economy to grow and to make Australia more productive. 

Can I hand over to you, Anne, to say a few words and then, Blanca, I might get you to say a few words as well. 

ANNE ALY, MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: Thanks Jason. Can I also thank Chris, Blanca and Paloma for inviting us here this morning. Look, over the last month or so it’s been wonderful getting out there across Australia and talking to families, just like this beautiful family here, who are really benefitting from the changes that we made to the Child Care Subsidy making early childhood education and care more affordable for more than 1.2 million families right across Australia. 

And speaking with Blanca and Chris and Paloma this morning it’s been a wonderful insight into just how much Paloma is benefitting from quality early childhood education and care. And with the support of both her parents going into school every day, we’ve had a wonderful conversation about what she loves most about her childhood education and care. 

And it’s families just like this right across Australia that the Albanese Labor Government is thinking about when we introduce measures like increasing the Child Care Subsidy to make it more affordable, to enable primary caregivers and caregivers rights across Australia to be able to take on that extra day of work. 

It’s families like this who will contribute to the productivity and our economy in Australia that we need to, and the productivity that we need to lift the economy in Australia. 

It’s families like this that the Albanese Labor Government is thinking about when we think about cost‑of‑living relief and delivering a responsible budget, setting a foundation for the future. 

And it’s children like Paloma that I think about whenever I visit an early childhood education centre and see the wonderful educators and teachers and the level of quality that we have in Australia. I want our early learning system to be world‑class so that children like Paloma get the very best start in life, and that that sets them up for their high school years, their primary years, their high school years and well into their future. 

I’d like invite Blanca to say a few words about her story and a little bit about Paloma and the family. 

BLANCA RAMIREZ: Thank you. So, yeah, my name’s Blanca, this is Paloma, she’s my first and only daughter. Child care was really important for Chris and myself. Chris is Defence so we don’t have our family here. My family’s overseas. So we don’t have that support structure. We don’t have cousins running around to, you know, that she can socialise with. 

So it’s been really important for us that she has that consistency and has that opportunity to, you know, become a human being really. 

And then with the increase in the subsidy that’s allowed us to make the decision for her to go back to full‑time day care, and so she’s been back to full‑time day care just two weeks ago, three weeks ago, yeah. She’s in back in to full‑time three weeks ago and I work four days a week. What that does is it gives me time to, you know, if I needed to get out of work early because she has swim, we can do that. I can run around and I’m not like dead tired after work, because I think that’s important as well, that we’re able to be there for her and not just, you know, punch in and punch out. 

I know, I work as a government lawyer and a lot of lawyer mums, you know, they are always looking out for like longer child care hours and things like that. And so I think I’m really lucky now that I can work those four days. That way I can do things like take her out early and I can have coffee dates, and particularly it’s important for me as a person with disabilities as well. I tend to have a lot of appointments during the week and when I used to work full‑time because I had to work full‑time, I would have to take sick leave and things like that to go to medical appointments and now I can just, you know, I don’t have to justify why I’m taking time off for work and it’s always a bit awkward when you’re constantly, you know, going to appointments every week. So yeah. 

CLARE: That’s it. Fantastic. Thank you so much. 

ENDS