The prime minister in Sydney on Saturday spruiked the childcare changes kicking in on July 1 as bound to make a huge difference for families.
On the question of whether childcare fees would only increase and eat up savings from subsidies, Mr Albanese said the government would continue to monitor those issues.
“But we’re very confident that this will make an enormous difference,” he told reporters.
“Of course, over a period of time, childcare fees have increased – we’re conscious of that – but we need to look at this as a wholehearted change.
“Not only are we making these changes, we’ve also got a Productivity Commission review looking at the impact of this.”
The prime minister dismissed criticisms from the opposition that childcare cost relief measures would add to inflation.
The Labor government has committed $55.31 billion over the next four years to make childcare more affordable, with the signature election pledge to benefit about 1.2 million families nationwide.
“It is extraordinary that the opposition don’t seem to understand that early learning and childcare is about productivity,” Mr Albanese said on Saturday.
“That’s why these changes are so welcomed by the business community … (who) understand that they want their workforce to be able to work full time, to produce productivity benefits.
“Every single analysis – whether it be by treasury or the Productivity Commission or economists – all say very clearly that when you boost childcare, you boost productivity, you boost workforce participation and you assist growth in the economy.”
The prime minister met with The Parenthood chief executive Georgie Dent, who welcomed his recognition that parents and children needed better support.
The $4.5 billion changes to the childcare subsidy would give more than one million families relief through a reduction in out of pocket costs, Ms Dent said.
“It is an important step on the road towards every child in Australia having access to quality, affordable early childhood education and care,” she said in a statement.Â
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has said large number of families have struggled with expensive fees for services ahead of the release of an interim report into the state of the country’s childcare sector.
The inquiry into the childcare sector was announced by Treasurer Jim Chalmers in October last year.
The government is also setting aside $72.4 million over five years to support the training of early childhood educators and the care sector.