The ACTU welcomes the $4 billion commitment from the ALP to properly fund childcare for working families and ensure that no one is priced out of quality care for their child.

The ALP announcement will also ensure that people working in early childhood education are paid fairly and have income security that allows them to both provide for their own families and deliver continuity to children during their vital formative years.

The announcement is a demonstration of an important commitment of the Labor party to address equal pay. Women are currently paid more than 14 percent less than men and we must tackle the systematic under-valuation of the work women do in female-dominated industries to right this inequality.

The cost of childcare has been increasing far in excess of inflation, but under this proposal almost every family with an income below $69,000 will receive childcare for free, saving them thousands of dollars a year.

Reducing costs and delivering working people real wage rises will help to reverse the damage done by the years of failed trick-down economics under the Morrison Government.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“We need to change the rules to reduce costs on working families and to deliver real wage rises.

“Childcare and other essential items have been getting radically more expensive in recent years and working people are struggling to keep up. Many workers have little left in their pay after paying for childcare.

“The highly skilled work done by the mainly women who work in this sector is grossly undervalued and they deserve higher pay and recognition for their important work

“No one should be priced out of childcare, this is a basic essential service which should be available to every child and their family. Under the Morrison Government it has slipped out of reach for some and has become a significant part of weekly spending for millions more.

“This policy will improve quality of life for millions of working people.”