Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP is visiting the Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre today to talk to concerned childhood educators about the impact this new child care package will have on local families.

Malcolm Turnbull’s own secret hit list has revealed 1,128 families in the Bendigo electorate will be worse off under the Turnbull Government’s new child care package come July 2.

“Right now families are trying to work out childcare and early childhood education arrangements for the year ahead. Cutting access to Early Childhood Education midyear could put local Educator jobs and the education of our youngest at risk.

“This new package demonstrates that the Liberals still view early childhood education as child minding whilst parents are at work. It is not.

“Research shows quality education and care early in life (0-5years) leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life. The early years are critical for establishing resilience, healthy growth and capacity to learn.

“Access to affordable quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) is important to individual children, their families and the broader community. It not only helps children develop—influencing later outcomes at school and in life—but also dictates the level of families' engagement with employment.

“Under the Liberal’s package, families will have to satisfy a complex set of rules to qualify for government childcare support. The new work test and a means test is set to hit vulnerable families the worst.

“This new work test will knock over a thousand Bendigo electorate low income families out. It means local kids will miss out on accessing early childhood education because of who their parents are.

“When it comes to access to affordable and quality early childhood education there shouldn’t be winners and losers. Every child regardless of their parent’s capacity should have access to early childhood education

“This is another example of Malcolm Turnbull’s twisted priorities and failure to support families who are already struggling with flat wages growth, and facing massive hikes in their electricity, education and health bills.

“If the Liberals were serious about supporting Central Victorian families they wouldn’t exclude the most vulnerable and disadvantaged from accessing Early Childhood education and care,” said Ms Chesters.