We know that childcare requirements can affect members’ ability to work, or to work the hours that they would like.
Because of this, ANMF (Vic Branch) has welcomed a decision by the Andrews Labor Government to deliver an ambitious overhaul of early childhood education and care that is expected to help tens of thousands of women return to work when and for however many hours they want to.
The Andrews state government’s decision aims to:
- make kinder free across the state
- deliver a new year of universal pre-Prep for four-year-olds
- establish 50 government-operated childcare centres.
The changes should help members with young children save money – up to $2,500 per child annually – and support some to return to the workforce.
It’s not just the costs of childcare that are making life tricky for women and their families. Childcare is also notoriously difficult to access – even more so if you don’t work Monday to Friday, nine to five, as is the case with countless of our members.
So as part of the changes, the government has said it will build 50 new state-owned and affordable childcare centres in areas with the greatest unmet demand. The first centres are scheduled to open from 2025.
Where possible, the centres are set to be co-located with schools to avoid the double-drop off, and in close proximity to hospitals and other employers to create convenient access for working parents. The government has further committed to ensuring that these centres will also operate extended hours and on weekends to give more options to parents working in industries such as healthcare.
The Branch expects these changes will benefit many members.