The shortage of affordable and high quality childcare means many Australian women find it difficult to return to work after having a child. It is unfair, and further exacerbates gender pay inequality.
But the Abbott/Turnbull government has tied any increases to childcare funding, to cuts to family payments and paid parental leave - literally trading one child’s needs off against another.
Under the proposed childcare package 1 in 3 families will be worse off.
And even as their skills are more sought after than ever, childhood educators are being denied the pay and respect they deserve.
The Federal Government should be investing in high quality childcare for every family, to support children's development and their parents workforce participation, but Malcolm Turnbull clearly does not view it as a "jobs and growth" priority.
There is no proposed fee relief on the costs of childcare until 2018 and beyond, and the 2016 budget failed to provide any funding to continue the Universal Access to Preschool program beyond 2017; a huge backwards step for Australia.