The current funding model – a John Howard special – removed the direct funding of services entirely from the system, replacing it with standardised fee subsidies for parents.
The rhetoric is straight economics 101: parents are the best judges of the quality of care so they will choose the right services. They are assumed to be able to compare prices, hours, quality, like choosing a Laundromat, and be ready to move the child if there is a better local offer. The model assumed a level playing field between consumer and provider but a perennial shortage of care in most areas put the power into the providers hands.
“Child’s play: Coalition childcare inquiry doesn’t go far enough”, Eva Cox (The Conversation)