Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Labor supports families in Aston

The Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Jenny Macklin today visited Rowville Lakes Early Learning Centre to talk to local families about how Labor is making sure Australian children get the best start in life.

“Labor wants to give all children the best start in life,” Minister Macklin said.

“Labor has increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of out of pocket costs up to $7,500 per child per year. This has helped around 5,470 local families with the costs of accessing child care.

“Out-of-pocket costs for a family earning $75,000 a year has reduced from 13 per cent of their disposable income in 2004, to 8.4 per cent under our Labor Government.

“We are improving the quality of early childhood education and care because our Government understands that what we do in the early years has a huge impact on our kids’ development, their education outcomes and their health and social skills.”

Ms Macklin said that Labor’s support for families started with helping families to take time off work to spend with a new baby.

“It was this Labor Government that introduced Australia’s first ever national Paid Parental Leave scheme.

“Already, more than 1900 local mums have benefited from Labor’s Paid Parental Leave. For many low paid, casual and part-time workers, this is the first time they have had this support”.

Ms Macklin said that Federal Labor had expanded Paid Parental Leave in January this year to include two weeks dedicated Dad and Partner Pay.

“Thanks to Labor, dads can now access Government paid parental leave too. Since January, around 230 local dads have benefitted from two weeks paid leave.”

Ms Macklin told mums and dads that Labor’s support for families will continue to be there when they need it most.

“Labor’s Schoolkids Bonus is also helping to lighten the load for around 7,450 local families. This money helps parents buy uniforms, shoes, school books and stationery, as well as other costs like school excursions, music lessons and sports registration fees.

“Eligible families receive a total of $410 a year for each child in primary school, and $820 a year for each child in secondary school – paid in two installments before the start of Term 1 and 3.”

Tony Abbott voted against the Schoolkids Bonus in Parliament, and has committed to axe the Schoolkids Bonus.

This means if Mr Abbott is elected Prime Minister, a typical local family with two kids will be $15,000 worse off over the period of their children’s schooling.

“I know a lot of families are feeling the pinch right now, and they rely on this extra support to make sure their kids have everything they need for school,” Ms Macklin said.

“Labor will always stand up for modern families – but Tony Abbott and the Liberals are putting this at risk with their cuts to the Schoolkids Bonus, health and education.”