The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement it will trial the use of subsidised nannies for shift-working nurses in an initiative contained in the upcoming Budget.
Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said for many years the ANMF had been calling for subsidised childcare payments for the use of nannies for thousands of Australian shift-workers, including nurses and midwives, who struggle to find suitable care for their children whilst they work.
“We have long voiced our concerns about the need for 24-hour, seven-day a week childcare to meet the needs of our members who leave their children and families to carry out shift work,” Ms Thomas said.
“According to a poll conducted by the ANMF, 92% of Australia’s nursing and midwifery workforce currently work shifts outside regular Monday-Friday day-shift hours each month, with 78% of them reporting that they work outside of Monday-Friday day shift, on a weekly basis.
“For our members who predominately work these types of shifts at any hour of the day or night, on weekends and on public holidays, accessing child care outside regular hours is often a difficult task.
“That’s why this trial of 10,000 low-to middle-income families will come as a relief to them and we thank the Government for acknowledging the issues shift-workers face in accessing mainstream childcare services.”
Ms Thomas said the ANMF is keen to work with the Government to ensure the smooth implementation of the trial.
“This has been a long time coming for nurses and midwives and we are happy to be involved, to help the program best meet the needs of thousands of nurses and midwives who might be interested in taking part in the trial,” Ms Thomas added. “The feedback from our members will be useful in assisting the Government to gauge its effectiveness.”