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Scrap childcare rebate, Family Tax Benefit B and improve quality.



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Lyn Allison Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Victoria

Dated: 29 March 2006 Press Release Number: nanzlygi Portfolio: Children & Youth Affairs

Scrap childcare rebate, Family tax benefit B and improve quality

The Governments childcare rebate system is failing parents because they are paying out of pocket expenses now and then waiting months or years for the rebate to be paid, said Democrats leader Senator Lyn Allison.

Its pointless giving the rebate a year or 18 months after the money has been paid. Parents are forking out money from household revenue for childcare now.

"Just like the Private Health Insurance rebate, all this rebate is doing is driving up costs for everyone and putting money into the pockets of private providers.

"The Government should scrap the rebate, get rid of Family Tax Benefit B and increase the levels and thresholds for the child care benefit.

"This would be the best way to support most Australian families - rather than giving most support to families where the mum stays at home for the rest of her life once she has a child, or where the family can afford expensive childcare in long day-care.

"The Government also needs to get serious about quality of child care and early childhood education.

"It's not enough to say that 4 year olds should have access to preschool.

"All under school age children need quality care. But we don't have enough trained early childhood teachers and child care centres don't necessarily have to employ them. On average 2/3 of staff in child care centres are not trained.

"We need nationally consistent regulations on appropriate levels of training for staff in child care. We do this in aged care, so why not for children?" Senator Allison said.