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Government headed for another major child care disaster



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Richard Alston

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SECURITY, CHILD CARE AND RETIREMENT INCOMES

NEWS RELEASE

GOVERNMENT HEADED FOR ANOTHER MAJOR CHILD CARE DISASTER

The Government has embarked on yet another ill considered Budget proposal, the controversial national accreditation scheme, with little more than token representation of parents' interests, on the Interim National Accreditation Council established to develop the accreditation system for child care

services.

The Federal Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services, Peter Staples has blatantly refused to allow the Senior Vice President, Anne Young, of the Australian Confederation of Child Care, entry to the council meeting to be held today.

Once again the Government is avoiding public debate on a major issue, in its unseemly haste to convene the meeting prior to Christmas when it well knows that grass roots consultation with constituents is almost impossible.

The inevitable result will be yet another totally unnecessary and very expensive layer of bureaucracy and a steep rise in child care fees.

The Government's total capture by child care unions and special interest groups is a major disaster for parents and children for whom affordable child care will be even further away.

The Wangman report on accreditation to be discussed at today's meeting has been shrouded in secrecy with only members of the council privy to its contents.

The blackout could simply be explained by the contents of the leaked report illustrating a Budget blow out of over $200,000 in the first year of the scheme and a 200% in the running cost in its second year.

It appears that the industry will have to pick up the $3 million tab which no doubt will be passed on to families in the form of increased fees.

Services will also no longer be able to receive fee relief unless they participate in the scheme despite the fact that the service is subject to State regulations.

The Government has once again proven its inability to consult with industry and the public and appears to be moving recklessly towards yet another major child care fiasco.

For further information contact Senator Richard Alston on [06] 277 3605

18 December 1991