Polling: Majority of Australians Support Reintroduction of Free Childcare

Childcare Funding 20x More Effective at Creating Jobs than Tax Cuts

The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,004 Australians about their attitudes towards free and universal childcare.

Key findings: 

  • A majority of Australians (59%) support the Government reintroducing free and universal childcare, with almost one in four Australians (24%) strongly supporting the proposal. Only 24% oppose.
  • There was no significant difference in responses by gender, with both men (59% support) and women (58% support) equally supportive of free and universal childcare.
  • The majority of Coalition (51%), Labor (66%), Greens (65%) and Independent/Other (58%) voters support free and universal childcare.
  • Australia Institute commissioned economic modelling shows increased Government funding for childcare would be nearly 20 times more effective at creating jobs than an income tax cut of the same size.

“Our research shows increased childcare funding cannot be written off as a ‘women’s issue’, it is a family issue and a key economic issue. Men and women are just as supportive of the reintroduction of free childcare,” said Dr Richard Denniss, chief economist at the Australia Institute. 

“Public investment in affordable childcare is a much more effective way to create jobs than income tax cuts,” Dr Denniss said.

Macro-economic modelling commissioned by the Australia Institute (attached) from Victoria University’s Centre of Policy Studies found:

  • While net government spending of $2.8 billion on additional child care would create around 135,000 additional jobs per year by 2030, a similar expenditure on tax cuts would create less than 10,000 jobs.

” Economic modelling also shows almost 450,000 Australians with children under the age of 5 would like to work more hours, and if these parents worked an additional 10 hours per week then, by 2030 GDP would be $15 billion per year bigger,” Dr Denniss said.

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