Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Childcare long on cost and short on flexibility for families.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria

Dated: 16 January 2006 Press Release Number: qnmjeaks Portfolio: Status of Women Related: Children & Youth Affairs Related: Family & Community Services

Childcare Long on Cost and Short on Flexibility for Families The Democrats joined Liberal MP Jackie Kelly in calling for an overhaul of childcare funding arrangements but warned that it would not be enough to provide tax incentives for employers to fund places, said Democrats leader Senator Lyn Allison.

"A total reliance on commercial childcare has left many areas with a huge shortage of places, despite the record profits of private childcare corporations.

"Any overhaul for genuine family support must include: paid maternity leave for those crucial early stages of life, much more flexible funding arrangements for childcare generally and for 0 to 2 year olds, better standards, including formal preschool for 3 and 4 year olds within childcare and a system that encourages not for profit centres to thrive, giving parents the option of greater affordability and flexibility of childcare options.

"Most childcare isnt flexible enough to meet the needs of parents and current funding doesnt cover the ever increasing fees.

"Working families need choices. Parents should be able to choose not-for-profit centres, where they can be involved in creating childcare that is good for both women and their children and not just profit margins.

"There should be additional payments for under-two year olds - which is the most poorly serviced age grouping. Commercial childcare does not want to look at this demographic because there isnt enough money in it. Families should have the choice between paid maternity leave and accessible and affordable childcare," Senator Allison said.

Recent research conducted by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling showed that 22 percent of 520,000 Australian families interviewed with pre-school children said finding a childcare place was a problem. More than 175,000 Australian children are on childcare waiting lists.

Printed: 19 January 2006

Authorised by: J. Wood, 711 South Road, Black Forest, SA 5035.