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Federal Government renews call for national action on child care waiting lists



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THE HON KATE ELLIS MP Minister for Employment Participation Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care

MEDIA RELEASE

20 January 2012

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RENEWS CALL FOR NATIONAL ACTION ON CHILD CARE WAITING LISTS

Federal Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis today renewed the call for urgent national action to create more child care places for families.

“This is a huge issue for families which is why we need national action to address the shortage of child care places which are stopping parents from returning to work.”

The Government brought forward a proposal for national action last year on the basis of data showing that there was a 9.1 per cent increase in the number of children in Australian child care, yet in the same period there has only been a 0.7 per cent increase in the number of long day care centres.

Ms Ellis said that there were outdated, nonsensical planning barriers at the state and local government level preventing growth of new child care services, making it difficult for parents to return to work after having children.

“When we asked the states to form a national taskforce to immediately take action to investigate and remove barriers to new child care centres, the Liberal States teamed up to block the proposal.”

The Australian Government put forward the proposal at the COAG Standing Council for School Education and Early Childhood on December 7.

“Our Government will continue to work to fund an unlimited number of child care services and places which become available when a business decides to set up a centre.”

“What we want the states to do is immediately put in place a plan to support child care growth, identify and release more land where it is needed, and remove barriers to support the development of new services.”

The Australian Government is investing a record $20.6 billion in direct assistance to families to make access to child care more affordable, more than triple the investment of the former Coalition Government, and it funds unlimited child care places.

“It’s time for everyone to get on board and pull out all stops to get child care places created where they are needed most.”

Media contact: Vicky Darling 0408563982