By Julie Doyle for the ABC.
New modelling shows the Government’s proposed changes to the childcare sector will hurt vulnerable Indigenous families, childcare providers say.
The Government wants to move Indigenous services from their own funding program into the mainstream system — a move Deloitte Access Economics says will reduce families access to subsidised care and drive up costs.
Geraldine Atkinson from the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care said the move to the mainstream model would not work.
She urged the Senate to amend the package to ensure Indigenous services could keep operating and children stay in the early childhood system.
“Think about the poor, think about Aboriginal communities that are in that category, that have vulnerable children, that do need to access early education and care programs,” she said.
The child care changes are currently before a Senate inquiry, due to report next month.
The so-called Budget Based Funding program (BBF), which provides federal grants for hundreds of Indigenous services across the country, will be abolished in July 2017 as part of the overhaul of child care.
The Deloitte research shows 40 per cent of families using the BBF services would receive fewer hours of subsidised care.
It also shows 54 per cent of families using BBF services would have higher out-of-pocket costs and the biggest impact would be felt by families earning less than $65,000.
Two-thirds of service providers would also receive less government funding.
But Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the Deloitte research did not take into account all the measures featured in the childcare package.