Yolanda Vega, leader of the Australian Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s (AWCCI) childcare campaign, says we need to look at the whole picture before deciding on an overall solution.
“A lot of women are spending three to four years on the waiting list [for childcare places], so if you’ve got two children at home, imagine, you’ll end up going crazy,” she says.
Yolanda says there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of women giving up corporate jobs to start up home-based businesses because “they literally can’t access or afford childcare”.
Among the solutions the AWCCI campaign is pressing for are rebatable in-home care options. Yolanda says such a system already operates in France, where the introduction of home-based childcare resulted in 80 per cent of mothers with one child, and 50 per cent with more than one child, returning to work.
“From a productivity perspective, it is essential that we look at this today before it is too late. We need to use our biggest resources – and our biggest resources are women,” Yolanda says.