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ABC woes a big risk for Australian families.

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Wednesday 22 October 2008

ABC woes a big risk for Australian families

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on the Federal Government to ensure that quality, affordable childcare will still be possible for thousands of Australian children and their families in the event of a significant corporate collapse.

The Australian reported today that ABC Learning has unsuccessfully approached the Government for funding as it struggles under debt.

“A staggering 20 per cent of this country’s childcare places are at ABC Learning centres,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“What will happen to the 100,000 children currently in long daycare at ABC centres if the company folds?

“The financial troubles of ABC Learning should be ringing loud alarm bells about the fact that one company has dominated a fundamental service for Australia’s families.”

Senator Hanson-Young said that community-based, not-for-profit childcare needed more support.

“In the event of the corporate collapse of a company like ABC, the carer-to-child ratio will be in serious danger of blowing out,” she said.

“The Government should prioritise funding community-based, not-for-profit childcare facilities in the places where families need them most.

“The Greens will continue to call for quality, affordable childcare as an investment that will build healthy, happy communities.”

Senator Hanson-Young will be asking questions about childcare in the Senate Estimates hearings for the Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee.

What: Outcome 1: Early Childhood Education and Childcare (scheduled third)

When: This afternoon, Wed 22 Oct

Where: Committee Room 2S3 (TV channel 11 in Parliament House)

Contact: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760