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Old parties both off-key when it comes to childcare: Greens

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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Media Release

Old parties both off-key when it comes to childcare: Greens

Both the Government and Opposition must put their money where their mouths are in order to help parents access affordable and quality childcare services, the Australian Greens said today.

“Tony Abbott’s unfunded plan of just extending the childcare rebate to nannies is not the silver bullet to many parents’ childcare dilemmas,” Greens' spokesperson for early education and care Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

“But neither is the Government’s ignorant view that there’s no problem that needs fixing.”

“There are many parents who struggle with inflexible childcare arrangements and the Government needs to find a way of funding more accessible and quality care options that are affordable for families who need the most support.

“Shift workers like our hospitals nurses should be able to access quality childcare that helps them stay connected to the workforce and doesn't cost them the earth.

“The Greens have again today called for an overhaul of the childcare rebate with a view to finding a better way of funding accessible, flexible and quality childcare.

“The childcare sector has been asking for an overhaul of the funding models for services for years, concerned that the rebate isn't the most effective way of funding quality services.

“Rather than bickering about ideas that are unfunded, the Opposition and the Government must take the concerns of parents and childcare experts seriously and start funding the care of our youngest citizens better.

“It seems there will be no more money in this year’s Budget for childcare as the Government moves to slash social services to fund their surplus promise. We should be increasing the childcare benefit which supports those most in need.

“Despite budget constraints, the Government wants to give big business a corporate tax cut. At a time when working families are crying out for more support to access quality care for their children, I question whether the Government has its priorities straight.”