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Greens call for more childcare support to cut waiting lists.

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Sarah Hanson-Young Greens Senator for South Australia


Monday 27 October 2008

Greens call for more childcare support to cut waiting lists

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Federal Government to better support community childcare centres, as parents face long waits to find childcare places for their children.

Childcare waiting lists across the country are unacceptably long. In Adelaide for example, childcare centres have reported a spike in demand since 2006, following a high number of births in that year, and waiting lists stretching up to three years into the future for “high quality” childcare centre places.

“Childcare is an essential social service to which governments must be committing greater resources,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“It’s appalling that parents are having to add their unborn children to childcare centre waiting lists.

“Both state and federal governments need to work together on this critical situation that impacts on the health of children, the work of parents, and family life around Australia.”

Senator Hanson-Young also pointed to the financial woes of corporate childcare giant ABC Learning Centres as another sign that childcare needs greater government support.

“We have 41 ABC Learning Centres in South Australia, a whopping 291 in Queensland, and a total of 875 across the country,” she said.

“If the worst happens and those centres have to close, where will all those children go?

“Having 25 per cent of long daycare places held by a single company is a situation in which we should have never found ourselves.

“The Greens are asking the Federal Government to prioritise community-based, not-for-profit childcare facilities - boosting their funding and ensuring that the centres are in the places where families need them most.

“High quality, affordable, accessible childcare is an investment for the whole country that will build healthy, happy communities.”

Media contact: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760