Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Are we bringing up more latchkey children?

Download PDFDownload PDF

Nicola Roxon MP Shadow Minister for Children and Youth

For more information call: Nicola Roxon or Matt Nurse on (03) 9687 7355 or 0417 386 535


Are we bringing up more latchkey children?

The Howard Government’s failure to allocate any new places in the recent Budget to the national Outside School Hours Care program to support families with school-aged children, has started to have a drastic impact.

Many working parents who are unable to leave workplaces for the after-school run are being forced to choose between giving up work and leaving children to go home alone.

Despite estimates from the National Association for Outside School Hours Care that up to 50,000 new places are needed, the Government’s own regulations prevent any of the existing service providers offering even one or two extra places in the local community.

The Government policy of ‘capping’ places in Outside School Hours Care (which includes Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care), means that even those parents offering to pay full fees for an extra place in a service are being turned away - it is simply not possible to do this under the current rules.

Local school communities are devastated that despite their best efforts, there is simply nothing they can do about the children who don’t get a place in one of their programs.

“We have been approached by many parents and services across the country desperate about the current situation. There is no avoiding it - there is great demand for these services and the support it provides to working families.”

“How many latch-key children will it take before the Government sits up and pays attention to this growing crisis?

“Parents need assistance now. They can’t wait until next year’s budget, to see whether there will be more spots next year.

“What is this Government going to do to help these families in critical need?”

12 June 2002