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National Childcare Industry Council established

The Minister for Family Services, Senator Rosemary Crowley, today announced the establishment of a National Childcare Industry Council. The Council will hold its first meeting in Parliament House in Canberra today.

Senator Crowley said the National Childcare Industry Council will examine emerging issues affecting the child care industry and families.

"The child care industry is no longer the cottage industry it was in the early eighties," Senator Crowley said.

"Since 1983 the child care industry in Australia has grown six-fold with 440,000 families depending on the high quality child care services built up in the last decade under the Federal Government.

"I have asked the National Childcare Industry Council to provide advice on ensuring the continuing improvement of the delivery of child care services.

"The child care industry in Australia has a workforce of 70,000 - making it larger than the textile, clothing and footwear industry.

"The National Childcare Council draws together a cross section of the industry with expertise in child care, children's services and industry.

"During the next few months the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will undertake consultations on a range of child care issues while the Economic Planning Advisory Commission (EPAC) will examine structural issues affecting the industry over the longer term.

"Key issues which the National Childcare Industry Council will examine in the next few months are the combination of care and education for children under school age and training issues."

Members of the National Childcare Industry Council:

Chair: Susan Lenehan, former chair of the S.A. Industries Development Committee (SA)

Deputy chair: Professor Bob Gregory, board member of the Australian Institute of Family Studies (ACT)

Christine Woodrow: Chair of the National Parents Childcare Council, a national advisory body established by Senator Crowley, representing the views of parents on child care (QLD)

Judy Atkinson: centre operator (SA)

Susan Whittaker: Australian Early Childhood Association (Qld)

Anne Black: ACTU child care officer, (Vic)

Sue Harper: chief executive officer of the Lady Gowrie Child Centre (Vic)

Paula Nadas: Ethnic Childcare Resource Unit (WA)

Evelyn Callaghan: Australian Federation of Child Care Associations and member of National Parents Childcare Council (ACT)

Jo Comans: National Family Day Care Council (NSW)

Chris Swan: accountant and centre operator (WA)

Robyn Munro-Miller: National Outside School Hours Services Association (NSW)

Joan Winch: Aboriginal health worker, 1987 Aboriginal of the Year (WA)


Michelle Hardy, 06 277 7240 or 019 444 546