Despite pledges by federal and state governments to assist in paying for childcare, the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWIC) says there is much more left to do to ensure women can return to the workforce.

The organisation welcomes a $5.8 billion investment into universal pre-kindergarten by the NSW Government and says it goes a long way towards providing support for women and families with children under six. 

“The cost benefit of putting a child through childcare versus going to work has been a barrier for women to get back into the workforce,” says NAWIC National Chair, Christina Yiakkoupis.

“This is a great initiative for NSW and we would love to see the other states follow suit in the coming years.”

Anthony Albanese’s election promises for extending the subsidy to after-hours care as well as amending legislation to include payment of Superannuation on parental leave were also applauded by NAWIC. The Association has created a number of recommendations for universal childcare and amending legislation to allow for portability of parental and carer’s leave entitlements.

“We recommend the Government consider innovative policies and programs that address parental leave in transitional industries with inflexible working hours such as construction, where employee’s service to the industry is recognised, allowing them to bank/transfer parental leave entitlements similar to that of QLeave, which provides an equitable and efficient system of portability of long service leave in the building and construction industry,” says Yiakkoupis.

NAWIC believes the reforms are crucial to help support women’s participation in a number of sectors with Australia currently listed as 31/41 in childcare affordability.