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Extra childcare places? I’ll believe it when I see it!

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Tanya Plibersek MP Shadow Minister for Work, Family & Community Shadow Minister for Youth & Early Childhood Education Shadow Minister for Women

Extra childcare places? I’ll believe it when I see it!

Reports in today’s Sydney Sun-Herald of extra out of school hours care places are cautiously welcomed by Labor.

“Parents were promised 40,000 extra places in the last budget, and last week it was reported that even those places haven’t been allocated yet,” said Tanya Plibersek, Labor’s work and family spokesperson. “I’ll believe these extra places when they have been allocated and paid for.

“Labor has been campaigning strongly for extra places. At last count there were 174,500 kids who were missing out on the childcare which would allow their parents to work. The extra places that the government is hinting at are needed urgently, but it’s not just before and after school care that we need, but long day care for kids who are younger than school age.

“If this budget doesn’t provide extra long day care as well as before and after school care, Australian parents will be very disappointed.

“The best way we could help Australian women back into the workforce, addressing our national skills shortages as well as helping them with their own family budget, is by providing extra childcare places,” said Ms Plibersek.

Labor believes the Government could:

• Lift the cap on out of school hours care places;

• Introduce planning in long day care so we don’t have the shocking shortages experienced in most capital cities and some areas where there is an oversupply of places;

• Hold a national childcare summit immediately to deal with the crisis in childcare;

• Set up a formal system of communicating with childcare providers to deal with issues such as balancing supply and demand; and

• Give childcare providers access to demographic and other information to allow them to better plan their businesses.

For further media comment, please contact: Tanya Plibersek MP on 6277 4519 or 0413 777 787