ESSAY 20: SOCIETY –
GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN CHILDCARE
Common Sense does not believe in reinventing the wheel. We have outsourced some fundamentals for Essay 20 on a joint basis to Ms Virginia Tapscott and Mr Chris Mitchell, who are respectively a Contributor to, and a Former Editor in Chief of, The Australian newspaper.
Chris Mitchell’s essay was published in The Australian on 11 July 2022. Entitled “Labor’s childcare policy deserves media scrutiny” (click link to access), it is our pick, of our national Fourth Estate’s most blunt journalism for Winter 2022. Virginia Tapscott’s essay was published in The Australian on 16 July 2022. Entitled “Why a career is no match for motherhood” (click link to access), it is our pick, of our national Fourth Estate’s most courageous journalism for Winter 2022.
Common Sense’s Core Belief # 6 is all about Family. But in our view, profligate government funding for childcare, is a low national priority.
As Mr Mitchell’s article discloses:
“The evidence has been clear for decades that increasing subsidies for childcare simply increases prices.”
That evidentiary conclusion looks, to us, like common sense.
Proposals – Approach in Principle
Common Sense supports ‘low-cost-low-regulation’ not for profit models for childcare.
Parents who want more (than solid childcare with peer socialisation) can pay for what they want.
Common Sense has proposed (in Essay 7 – one of our series of Essays on Federation Reform) that the Federal Government vacate all responsibility and involvement, in the delivery and related regulation of childcare services (including early childhood education).
The corollary is that each State and Territory (not the Federal Government), becomes responsible, for any government contributions, toward the funding of childcare. Voters in each state then get to determine, what levels of public subsidies shall be available to parents, for childcare services in their state.
Options for state/territory delivery and funding of childcare is a topic for a future Essay. Options will not include subsidies for taxpayers who earn $500,000+.
For and on behalf of Common Sense for Australia Inc
Authorised for publication, 31 August 2022
Robin Barker (Bondi, NSW), The Australian, 18 July 2022: Letter to the Editor
Judith Sloan (13 May 2022) Close to universal childcare? You must be kidding The Australian
Julie Hare (18 May 2022) Previous childcare splurge did not encourage parents to work more The Australian Financial Review
Julie Hare (29 May 2022) Explainer: What exactly is universal childcare? The Australian Financial Review
Janet Albrechtsen (4 June 2022) Luxury politics has no place in ALP’s agenda The Australian
Frank Young (19 June 2022) Parenting matters. It is about time we were brave enough to say so The Spectator Australia