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Budget 2022: Cheaper child care for millions of families

Australian family with child and Australian money notes.
Cheaper child care is on the cards for Aussie families, as the Government's Budget attempts to tackle the rising cost of living. (Source: Getty)

Cheaper child care was a central part of tonight's Federal Budget, with the Government investing $4.7 billion over four years from 2022/23.

"From July next year, early-childhood education and care will be more affordable for more than 1.2 million eligible Australian families who will benefit from higher subsidies," Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in his Budget speech.

"Cheaper child care is a game-changing investment in families, our workforce, and our economy.

"It will increase the paid hours worked by women with young children by up to 1.4 million hours a week in the first year alone. That’s the equivalent of 37,000 extra full-time workers."

More Budget news:

From July 2023, childcare subsidy rates will increase up to 90 per cent for eligible families earning less than $530,000.

Currently, the subsidy stops once a family reaches the $356,756 income mark.

Families will continue to receive existing higher subsidy rates of up to 95 per cent for additional children in care aged 5 and under.

The ACCC will also conduct a 12-month childcare price inquiry, starting in January 2023.

Childcare costs have increased 41 per cent over the past eight years.

Cost-of-living relief

Cheaper child care was an important component of the Government's cost-of-living relief plan.

Other aspects of the plan included expanding paid parental leave, cheaper medicines, more affordable housing, and getting wages moving again.

Inflation is expected to peak at 7.75 per cent later this year, before returning to 3.5 per cent through 2023/24.

"Wages are growing faster now than they were before the election, but that welcome news is tempered by rising electricity prices and grocery bills eating into pay packets," Chalmers said.

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