Employers have voiced their concerns that the childcare industry is not attuned to the changing workforce and the needs of working parents.
Representatives from some of the nation’s biggest companies – including Telstra, Sony, Qantas and BlueScope Steel – met with the Early Childhood and Child Care Minister Kate Ellis at an industry roundtable in Sydney yesterday to discuss the matter.
Stephen Smith, director of the Australian Industry Group, says employers want more readily available information about taxation issues related to childcare as well as reforms to childcare structure to meet changing workplace demands.
“The meeting yesterday is really just a start for changes that could potentially happen. These changes could lead to an increase in participation in the workforce when both parents are able to work,” he says.
“Other things discussed were the potential of incorporating childcare services within companies and tax arrangements how and they would apply.”
Smith told SmartCompany the meeting was to define the agenda for changes and it is still in its beginning stages, as he cannot predict when the changes will come into effect.
The Federal Government is spending $22.3 billion during the next four years on childcare and associated reforms, including $19.9 billion in direct childcare assistance to 1.3 million families.