By Julie Doyle
Child care providers will convene a roundtable at Parliament House in Canberra this morning in a bid to convince the Federal Government to change its plans for the sector.
- Roundtable organised by Australian Childcare Alliance
- Its president says changes put vulnerable families at risk
- Education Minister says package is "outstanding" as it is
The Federal Government wants to overhaul child care rebates paid to more than 1 million families who use the system.
As part of the changes, multiple payments would be replaced with one means-tested subsidy.
A tougher activity test for parents would also be introduced before they qualify for any Government support.
Today's roundtable has been organised by the Australian Childcare Alliance.
Its president Gwynn Bridge said child care providers and parents had concerns about the impact of the changes, particularly on vulnerable families.
"We don't want it pushed through in its current form because of some of the major issues there that are going to affect families and children," Ms Bridge said.
"However, we are concerned that if it doesn't go through now, it could be a long time in being implemented and families are doing it tough now."
The Government wants the new system to start in July 2017, but the bill to enact the package is still before the Senate.
Ms Bridge said she was worried the issue would be pushed to the bottom of the agenda.
"Somebody needs to look at the tough position families are finding themselves in through no fault of their own. We need to sort this out, we can't let it limp on."
'We don't want any child left behind'
The country's largest child care provider Goodstart Early Learning will also attend today's meeting.
Goodstart's advocacy manager John Cherry said the Government needed to ensure all children maintained access to early childhood education.