Bold plan to address 'childcare deserts'

·2-min read

Billions of dollars will be spent over the next 10 years to create long-term opportunities for working women in NSW and target notorious "childcare deserts".

Treasurer Matt Kean described the $5 billion fund as a "game changer".

"We know that the biggest lever we have to increase the participation rate of women in NSW is affordable, accessible childcare and this policy does exactly that," Mr Kean told reporters on Tuesday.

"This is a game changer in NSW - it's unlocking childcare places, particularly in those childcare deserts where there's only one spot for every three children."

The policy will directly address childcare blackspots in Sydney's west and southwest as well as the regions.

The fund is expected to increase women's workforce participation by up to 14 per cent, raise household incomes by $4400 and save families up to $3400 a year.

The government will introduce legislation to create the fund in parliament this week, as it looks to implement a series of major budget announcements focused on enhancing women's economic opportunity.

The fund will quarantine $5 billion to create up to 47,000 childcare places.

Delivered to NSW families alongside Commonwealth investment, it's expected to allow up to 95,000 mothers to work more hours, or re-enter the workforce.

"This is not only the right policy for our society, it's the right policy for our economy," Mr Kean said.

Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the policy to expand access to affordable childcare was developed after consulting working women, who said a lack of services was hampering their careers.

"There are parts of NSW where it is harder to access childcare - so we're stepping up to the plate," Ms Taylor said.

"The ultimate thing here is that we know that when women are thriving, our families thrive, our communities thrive and NSW thrives."