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Campaigns Target Families On Mother's Day

The federal election campaign has taken on a family flavour on Mother's Day, before the prime minister and Labor leader lock horns in their second debate.

Scott Morrison will on Sunday announce a $53 million package to help slash the cost of IVF for would-be mums and dads.

Meanwhile, Anthony Albanese says Labor will invest $11 million to help new parents connect with their local playgroups.

Mr Morrison says he understands the hurdles and difficulties many Australians face in trying to have children, after his own family's IVF journey.

"I want to help thousands more Australians achieve their dream of becoming parents," he says.

Around 50,000 patients received Medicare-funded assisted reproductive technology services in 2020-21, including through IVF, and now patients with cancer or people at risk of passing on genetic diseases will have their egg, sperm or embryo storage subsidised for the first time.

"For people battling cancer or staring down the risk of genetic diseases it's already a difficult battle and this new subsidy will help give them more options about their aspirations to become parents," Mr Morrison said.

"Right when these aspiring mums and dads need help the most, we'll be there."

A Labor government will help playgroups recover from the COVID-19 disruptions and expand their network across Australia.

"We know that over 90 per cent of human brain development occurs in the first five years," Mr Albanese says.

"Playgroups play a critical role in that development with kids learning together and developing social skills, as well as creating a vital network for parents."

Research shows children who are part of a playgroup are more likely to start school ready to learn with better communication, language and cognitive skills than those who aren't part of a playgroup.

"On Mother's Day, I can't think of a better way to come out of the pandemic than by strengthening the communities that are built for mums and kids through increasing funding to grow and support playgroups all over the country."

The Greens also used Mother's Day to announce that free child care will be on the party's shortlist should the May 21 election result in a hung parliament.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said while Labor's plan makes child care affordable, many families would still miss out.

He says for an additional $2-3 billion a year childcare can be free for everyone.

"For less than what the government gives in handouts to the likes of Clive Palmer, we could have free child care for all," he says.

Mr Morrison and Mr Albanese will make their case to Australian voters in their second debate in Sydney on Sunday night, with pre-polls opening on Monday.

Independent candidate for Wentworth Allegra Spender will also face off against Dave Sharma on Sunday, who currently holds the seat for the Liberal party.

Mr Sharma will urge his constituents to stay the course, pledging a voice inside the government can achieve more than one on the crossbench.

But Ms Spender hit back, saying the incumbent MP has had three years to deliver moderate policy aligned with the beliefs of his constituents but has failed to do so.

She told AAP skilled migration needed to form an important part of the mix to address workforce shortages.

"I don't think either of major parties are really doing enough in terms of skilled migration," she said.

"I'm talking to businesses who are crying out for skills."

AAP With The Project