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Childcare plan: practical reforms for Territory parents.



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Take ten steps for the Territory, Ni

MEDIA RELEASE

Childcare plan: practical reforms for Territory p

arents

Issued: 16 March 2006

Initiatives such as funding new childcare centres alongside primary schools mean Territory parents are the winners in Kim Beazley’s practical Childcare reforms announced today Senator Trish Crossin says.

“Parents in Jingili, Gray and Moulden already know the benefits of having childcare centres next to primary schools in avoiding the dreaded ‘double drop-off’ of young kids at different locations on the way to work.

“Now Labor will provide new capital funding to establish childcare centres, where practical, next to primary schools in cooperation with the Territory Government, local government and childcare operators.

“Labor’s plan will tackle the cost of the land which is a major barrier to establishing new centres to ease the shortage of childcare places.

“At the same time collocating centres and schools eases the disruption to family life and children’s education as they move from childcare to schooling.

Labor’s plan for childcare centres on school grounds is the first part of a five-point plan to address the increasing shortage and cost of childcare to make it work better for families.

Other key reforms include:

• Unlocking unused places for outside school hours, holiday and family day care to address shortages at other centres which arise during the year.

• Funding councils to establish single waiting lists for local childcare places - saving parents running around to every centre in town.

• Better planning and gathering of information on childcare demand so new places go to areas that need them most.

• Fixing the child care tax rebate red tape disaster so parents get the money when they need it as they pay bills - not 18 months later.

“Labor will also be announcing further childcare measures in the lead up to the election.

“While coalition members argue amongst themselves about childcare policy Labor is offering practical solutions.

“We know that fixing the child care shambles is a crucial part of protecting our future prosperity and building our community” Senator Crossin said.