Te Kaunihera Wahine o Aotearoa National Council of Women of New Zealand welcomes the Government’s announcement of increased access to childcare subsidies. Resetting the threshold for low income earners will ensure almost all sole parents are able to benefit from this significant step forward.
Rising costs of childcare over the last decade have eroded parents’ ability to choose whether or not to work. High housing costs and increasing inflation mean many families with children are simply unable to pay for childcare. In these cases, it is mostly women's choices that are limited and women who have to drop their hours at work or bring their babies with them. Increased access to childcare subsidies will have far-reaching effects on the ability to work, on lifelong earnings and economic independence, and on access to more choices for sole parents – who are primarily women.
NCWNZ President, Dr Suzanne Manning, says, “Improving access to childcare to help lift children out of poverty is very welcome. We hope that implementing this new policy will make sure that all eligible parents can access the subsidy easily and restore some dignity for these families. It’s also important that families who can use the subsidy will be assured that high quality and culturally appropriate local services can be available to them. We ask that the Government continues to pay attention to the level of the 20 Hours Free subsidies paid to ECEC providers, which contribute to the ongoing viability of these services.”
Increased support for childcare is a life-changing step in supporting families – and women and children throughout Aotearoa New Zealand will be its main beneficiaries.
For more information, or to interview Dr Suzanne Manning please contact 022 655 6512 or email [email protected].
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