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Feds ripping $$ off NT childcare centres.

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eds ripping $$ off NT Childcare Centres

Issued: 5 April 2006

Senator Trish Crossin said the Howard Government was sending childcare in the Territory backwards with dramatic cuts in funding to centres in regional and remote areas.

“The cuts flow from the Federal Government’s broadband review of assistance to childcare centres’’ Senator Crossin said.

“Childcare centres in Katherine, Humpty Doo, Nhulunbuy and Tenant Creek are all losing Federal Government assistance from July 1 this year.

“Already parents are suffering from increases to child care costs and federal government subsidies to parents that are delivered two years too late.

“Now these centres are being forced to look at options of further increasing fees to cover the withdrawal of Federal Government funding.

“Katherine East Childcare Centre alone is losing its Disadvantaged Area Subsidy of $104,000 a year from July 1 this year.

“This is throwing a massive financial burden onto parents unless alternatives are found.

“Meanwhile the Federal Government allocated a $1.3 million consultancy to accountants Ernst & Young to assist centres who were losing funding to find ways of covering the loss.

“The only option for these centres to remain open under the Howard Government is to hit parents by increasing fees.

“There seems to have been little examination of the viability of centres and no consideration of parent’s ability to pay or the effects of fees on parents.

“It is another example of the Coalition, of which the CLP is part, shirking its responsibility o families” Senator Crossin said. t