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Senate supports Greens to hold inquiry into childcare.

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Tuesday 25 November 2008

Senate supports Greens to hold Inquiry into Childcare

The Senate today supported a motion moved by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young to hold a Senate Inquiry into childcare in Australia, as the sector experiences turmoil in the wake of the ABC Learning collapse.

The Inquiry will have a broad scope to look at the need for childcare reform in Australia, and report back in March 2009.

“This Inquiry is vital for mapping the way forward for childcare in Australia,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“The collapse of ABC Learning, one giant company that was allowed to hold more than 100,000 long daycare places in this country, has revealed alarming inadequacies and weaknesses in the sector.

“The sector delivering the early learning and care of our youngest children urgently needs to be stabilised and improved.

“This Inquiry will gather the best childcare brains in the country around the table to share their experience, put forward solutions, and determine which models of care are best for parents and kids.

“I encourage all interested parties to make submissions to the Inquiry once it is formally established,” she said.

The Terms of Reference for the Senate Inquiry into Childcare follow below.

Media contact: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760

1) That the following matters be referred to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace  Relations Committee for inquiry and report by March 12 2009: 

a) The financial, social and industry impact of the ABC Learning collapse on the provision  of childcare in Australia;  

b) Alternative options and models for the provision of childcare  

c) The role of governments at all levels in: 

a. funding for community, not‐for‐profit, and independent service providers; 

b. consistent regulatory frameworks for childcare across the country; 

c. licensing requirements to operate childcare centres;  

d. nationally consistent training and qualification requirements for childcare  workers;  

e. the collection, evaluation and publishing of reliable, up‐to‐date data on casual  and permanent child care vacancies;  

d) the feasibility for establishing a national authority to oversee the childcare industry in  Australia; 

e) and other related matters.