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Bandaid solution to childcare crisis.



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Jacinta Collins LABOR SENATOR FOR VICTORIA SHADOW MINISTER FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Friday, 5 December 2003

Bandaid solution to childcare crisis

The Government’s announcement of an additional $80 million to help ease the crisis in childcare will do little to ease the current crisis in the accessibility and affordability of childcare places.

As Christmas approaches families need childcare throughout the school holidays. Despite this new allocation of funds there will still be a national unmet demand in outside school hours care/vacation care of nearly 20 000 places.

There is also nothing in the Minister’s package to make childcare more affordable. Australia’s Welfare 2003, released yesterday by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, shows how childcare is becoming less and less affordable for Australian families.

The Report says that:

Between 2000 and 2002, however, affordability declined for families using all types of long day care services …Childcare became less affordable over this period because fees rose more than the CCB (child care benefit), which is indexed, to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) (p.246).

Today’s announcement is recognition of the problem that the Howard Government created through the establishment caps on childcare places. But its response is little more than a bandaid solution which will do little to make childcare more affordable, or ease the crisis in unmet demand.

Inquires: Jacinta Collins 0418 991 757

Lizzie Blandthorn 0419 326 946

Unit 6, 410 Burwood HWY, Wantirna South, VIC 3152 Phone (03) 9800 2055 Fax (03) 9800 2421 Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 5880 Fax (02) 6277 5886 Email: senator.jacinta.collins@aph.gov.au