4CA with John MacKenzie
JOHN MACKENZIE: Scott Morrison, good morning.
MINISTER MORRISON: G’day John.
MACKENZIE: Scott, this is an interesting one for people that often feel left out in these, in these sorts of plans. Talk to me about the fact that you are targeting regional and rural families.
MINISTER MORRISON: Well that’s exactly why we’re doing this, there is a mainstream level of childcare services which are provided around the country and people have been receiving subsidies for those for many years but there are families who aren’t able to access those mainstream services and therefore do get cut off from that level of support which helps them stay in work and get in work when they’ve got young families. Now we know that is true also in regional and rural locations because of how services are provided and also when families have special needs, they might have kids with disabilities. For example I know there are many families who struggle with kids with autism and they find that difficult to find services. Now that’s hard enough in major metro areas, but in regional areas that can be tougher, and right across regional areas and rural areas you’ve got people working not necessarily regular hours as well and can fall shy of the mainstream services and in some places there just aren’t the mainstream services. So that’s why we are focusing on rural and regional parts of the country. It will be a two year trial and will start in January and you mentioned, 10,000 children will be supported through this, 4,000 nannies working with approved service providers, but we’ve got to make sure that it doesn’t get rorted and there has got to be the integrity controls, we’re not interested in providing subsidies for family members doing things they’re already doing. This is about actual care needs that go well beyond that and the subsidies that are available to others in other places can now be available to these families as well.
MACKENZIE: And that’s for hiring of nannies already employed by an approved and existing service provider, you just mentioned there, 4,000 of them, I mean are there going to be 4,000 out there available for these after-hours services?
MINISTER MORRISON: Well that will be one of the things that we work through in the trial, over the pilot programme. One of the things we don’t want to do is see those already delivering services in established childcare centres, we don’t want to see an exodus of them out of there, but one of the things we’re doing is we’re not going to require early childhood education qualifications for these nannies, which is what is required in formal childcare centres…
MINISTER MORRISON: …They will require a first aid certificate and things of that nature as well as a working with children check and certificate to ensure they can provide these services. They’ll obviously have to be professional and the providers themselves will do their own checks on them for that purpose, so it will cast the net a bit more broadly. They have to be over 18 I should stress as well…
MINISTER MORRISON: …So there are some standards and I think over a two year period we’ll be able to make sure we get this programme right and in a position to make a judgement about how we can take it beyond that point.
MACKENZIE: Just briefly, subsidised but subsidised in dollar value to what extent?
MINISTER MORRISON: Well we’ll be announcing the full childcare package and it will use the same taper rate so there will be a higher level of subsidy for those on very low incomes and that will taper off for those on higher incomes and we’ll be going through what those percentages are in the next couple of weeks. But for nannies, the cost of providing the nanny per child will be less than it is for long day care centres because obviously you don’t have all the infrastructure and the property and so on and the overheads attached. So the level of subsidy that we’ll be providing to nannies will be less than what would be provided to the long day care centre, that’s just reflective of the cost involved in providing those services.
MACKENZIE: Good to talk to you, Scott, thank you.
MINISTER MORRISON: Many thanks, John.