Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Research reveals changing nature of modern families

New research released today shows the importance of the Gillard Government’s targeted support for low and middle income families.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies’ report, Families working together: Getting the balance right, provides insight into how modern Australian families are balancing the competing demands of work and family life.

The report shows that the balance of responsibilities between child care and work commitments varies at different stages in life, with women more likely than men to work part-time while raising their children. The research shows that mothers with young children under five spend an average of 14 hours a week in paid work, increasing to an average of 25 hours when their children are older.

The Gillard Government is delivering record levels of assistance to low and middle income families who need it, when they need it.

We’ve delivered a national Paid Parental Leave Scheme – Australia’s first – so women have the financial support to take time off work after the birth of a new baby.

For many casual and part-time workers, this is the first time they have had this support.

We’ve increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of out of pocket costs up to $7,500 per child per year, to make sure modern families have the flexibility they need as their children grow and parents return to work.

We’re delivering the Schoolkids Bonus to help families with the cost of the children’s education.

We’re delivering boosts of up to $4,200 a year for families with teenagers, because we know the cost of raising children doesn’t get any cheaper as they get older.

We’ve increased family payments as part of our Household Assistance Package, and we’ve delivered tax cuts to millions of working families.

Labor is also making the responsible decisions to modernise our family payments system, making it sustainable and investing in better schools so every child can benefit from a great education.

Only Labor will make the responsible decisions needed to build a stronger, smarter and fairer future.

You can access the Australian Institute of Families Studies report at