October Budget to fund childcare price inquiry

Australian Treasury

The Albanese Labor Government will launch a 12-month inquiry into the rising cost of childcare in Australia starting in early 2023.

The Government’s October Budget will invest $10.8 million to begin an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry in January.

Childcare costs increased by 41 per cent over the past eight years. This is a significant burden to many Australian families already struggling to make ends meet.

That’s why, as part of a comprehensive plan for cheaper childcare at the election, we will conduct a thorough inquiry into the cost of childcare in Australia.

The ACCC inquiry will examine the driving factors behind rising childcare costs and out-of-pocket expenses and will make recommendations to the government on ways to ease pressure on families.

Next week, the Minister for Education will introduce legislation which will make childcare more affordable for 96 per cent of Australian families with children in care.

Making childcare more affordable is good for children, good for families and good for the economy.

It means more children get access to critical early education, more parents especially mums can afford to work more hours or more days and that means more skilled workers for our economy.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Jim Chalmers:

“It shouldn’t cost parents more than they earn to put their kids through childcare. But for many families, that’s the challenge they face – when it’s sometimes cheaper to stay at home and take care of the kids than it is to go to work.

“Our plan will make childcare cheaper for more than a million families and that means that parents will be able to work more hours if they want to.

“With a Budget that’s heaving with a trillion dollars of Liberal Party debt, it’s important that we deliver responsible cost-of-living relief that delivers a long-term benefit to our economy.

“Our investment in cheaper childcare is a cost-of-living measure with an economic dividend.

“For many families, the cost of childcare is an incredible burden. This inquiry is an important part of our plan to help families cope with rising cost-of-living pressures.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

“Anyone with kids in early education and childcare knows how expensive it is, knows it’s a massive disincentive to work more hours or more days.

“At the moment about 60 per cent of mothers of children under six who work, do part-time hours. A lot of Australians would want to work more, but if they did all of that pay would be gobbled up by the childcare bill. It means it’s not worth it.

“Legislation I will introduce next week will cut out-of-pockets costs for 96 per cent of families will children in care. The ACCC inquiry is another way the Albanese Government is helping to drive down out-of-pocket childcare costs for families.”

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