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Quality, accessibility crucial for all forms of childcare.



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Sarah Hanson-Young

Quality, accessibility crucial for all forms of childcare

Media Release | Spokesperson Sarah Hanson-Young

Tuesday 21st July 2009, 12:25pm

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says vocational and out of school hours

childcare should not be forgotten as important childcare services that need to be

affordable, accessible and of good quality.

Hearings for the Senate Inquiry into the provision of childcare continue today in

Melbourne and tomorrow in Adelaide, with more in Canberra and Perth next month.

“Other forms of childcare besides centre-based care, such as care services provided

in workplaces, at universities and TAFEs, and on school grounds out-of-school

hours, are an important part of childcare service provision,” said Senator Hanson-Young, Greens Spokesperson for Early Childhood Education and Childcare.

“The need for childcare does not suddenly evaporate once a child reaches age five.

“However, it’s clear from this Inquiry that there is not enough support at the moment

for these types of care to be consistently accessible and of good quality.

“Especially as some parents’ working hours have become extended or irregular,

these other types of care are essential for supporting those families, and needs to be

considered alongside traditional childcare in policy development and funding.”

Senator Hanson-Young said that vocational and out of school hours care were

important for facilitating the participation of women in the workforce.

“Women continue to shoulder the bulk of responsibility for caring for children, and so

childcare plays a vital role in ensuring that women’s workforce participation is not

diminished or compromised,” she said.

“This Inquiry has heard about the role employers can play in helping with flexible

work arrangements and accessibility to childcare, which can be of great assistance

to employee parents.”

Senator Hanson-Young said the ongoing Senate Inquiry represented an opportunity

to transform the childcare sector to better serve children, parents and workers.

“Last week, in light of evidence submitted to the Senate Inquiry, the Greens called

for childcare funding models to be referred to the Productivity Commission, to find

the most effective way of funding this essential service,” she said.

“Childcare is an essential service and at the moment, there’s lots of room for

improvement.”