Opposition leader Bill Shorten tries on a hat from Cudgen Surf Life Saving Club in Kingscliff on Sunday, May 15, 2016.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten tries on a hat from Cudgen Surf Life Saving Club in Kingscliff on Sunday, May 15, 2016. Liana Turner

Labor's childcare rebate hike wins support of advocates

A LABOR child care pledge that includes hiking the childcare rebate's annual cap from $7500 to $10,000 from January next year has received tentative support from an advocacy group.

Early Childhood Australia praised the package Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced yesterday, but also pushed for wider reform."Increasing the child care benefit by 15% for all families and raising the cap on the childcare rebate to $10,000 would bring very welcome immediate relief to all families using child care," national president Ros Cornish said.

"This is a substantial boost within the current system which will help all families meet the increasing costs of childcare in the short term."

But she urged both parties to ensure full reform of the childcare system so all children could access at least two days of early learning each week.

Mr Shorten said the pledge to lift the child care benefit payment by 15% could leave some families up to $31 better off weekly for each child or $1600 annually.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said abandoning the caps on subsidies that child care providers were paid meant Labor's policy could cost families more because of higher provider costs.

Mr Birmingham said Labor's plan to abolish the activity test would mean spending more on people who were not working, studying or volunteering.Labor's announcement followed the release of a Fairfax Ipsos poll of 1300 people that found Labor was ahead of the Coalition.

The poll, conducted between May 31 and June 2, had Labor with 51% of the two-party vote, ahead of the Coalition on 49%.



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