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National dialogue with employers on the future of childcare and national productivity



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Ministers' Media Centre Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

National dialogue with employers on the future of childcare and national productivity

On 5 August 2013 the government assumed a Caretaker role, with an election to be held 7 September 2013.

Media releases, transcripts and speeches for the DEEWR Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary can be accessed via the ALP website until after the election and the conclusion of the caretaker period.

Tuesday 28 August 2012 Media Release

The Hon Kate Ellis MP [link:/ellis]

• Minister for Employment Participation • Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care

Some of Australia’s largest employers are meeting today to discuss the future of affordable and flexible childcare for working parents.

Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis joined representatives from some of the largest companies in Australia, including Boeing, CSL, Qantas, Blue Scope, Sony and Telstra, at the Australian Industry Group Employer Roundtable in Sydney.

Ms Ellis said it was important for employers to contribute to the debate on the future of child care.

“The structures and expectations of our workplaces have changed dramatically, meaning our child care needs have also changed. In many cases it means they have become more complicated,” Ms Ellis said.

“This is not just a challenge for parents and governments. Employers must also be part of the solution.

”The Government is committed to working with employers to find innovative and flexible child care and workplace options that help businesses to retain and attract skilled staff.

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“Working mums and dads want to have the option to return to work to make life better for them and their family, but equally for business, it’s important that they can retain the skills and their investment in staff.

Ms Ellis said today’s roundtable was part of a series of dialogues with stakeholders.

“These forums are already giving us new ideas and insights from the early childhood sector, industry bodies, unions, and from people such as parents and educators.”

Minister Ellis launched the current dialogue series last month, at a summit with Prime Minister Julia Gillard to discuss the future of child care.

This was followed by the Early Childhood Education and Care Forum that was attended by child care organisations, unions, parents and educators.

Ms Ellis said the evidence was growing on the high return on investment in quality early childhood education and care and it was a vital policy area to meet Australia’s long term productivity goals.

“The reforms we’ve put in place to give children an early childhood education in child care settings, will not only give children with the best start at school, but will lead to better life and work outcomes,” Ms Ellis said.

“Investment in quality early childhood education and care is an investment in the long-term well-being and prosperity of our nation, so business has a key interest.”

Ms Ellis said the Government was making record investments in early childhood education and, with $22.3 billion committed over the four years to 2015-16, more than triples that of the Coalition Government.

Of that, $19.9 billion is being invested in direct child care assistance for families through the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate to help around 1.3 million children get access to child care.

For more information

Media Contact: media@deewr.gov.au [link:mailto:media@deewr.gov.au] Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

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