Nov 15, 2007

A child care centre for Grayndler under a Rudd Labor Government

Jenny Macklin & Anthony Albanese announce a child care centre for Grayndler under a Rudd Labor Government

Media Release

Jenny Macklin MP

Shadow Minister for Families and Community Services

Federal Member for Jagajaga

Anthony Albanese MP

Federal Labor Member for Grayndler

15 November 2007

A Rudd Labor Government will build a brand new child care centre in Sydney’s Inner West to help address the chronic shortage of child care places facing local families.

Jenny Macklin and Anthony Albanese made the announcement today.

The Howard Government’s own Child Care ‘Hot Spots’ list identifies areas in the Inner West as being in urgent need of more child care places.

Mr Albanese said despite the urgent need, the Howard Government had continually ignored the plight of local families who desperately need additional child care.

“Families in the inner west are acutely aware of the difficulties in finding affordable, accessible child care.”

“Parents, especially mums, are finding it really tough to find a child care place, making it difficult for them to return to work or extend their working hours if they choose to,” Mr Albanese said today.

Ms Macklin said that Federal Labor was committed to building up to 260 child care centres around Australia in areas of real need – an investment of over $200 million.

“We will place these centres on primary school grounds or community grounds where possible as part of Labor’s new approach to child care and early childhood education,” Ms Macklin said.

Ms Macklin said that Federal Labor will also provide universal preschool for all Australian four-year olds, an annual investment of $450 million when fully implemented.

Labor will work with the NSW State Government and the community to find a suitable location for the centre.

Ms Macklin said that Labor wanted to make sure that local families had access to affordable and high quality care.

Federal Labor’s Affordable Child Care Plan will:

  • Increase the Child Care Tax Rebate to 50 per cent – covering up to $7,500 a year of out-of-pocket costs for each child in child care in NSW.
  • Pay the 50% Child Care Tax Rebate quarterly – with the goal, subject to the development of delivery mechanisms, of paying the rebate to parents every fortnight.

Ms Macklin said that the Howard Government had done nothing to address spiralling child care costs and done little to address the serious shortage of child care places across the country.

“The local shortage of child care places is driving up costs for local families,” Mr Albanese said.

“The Howard Government has denied that there is a child care crisis, instead blaming parents for being too choosy,” Ms Macklin said.

“And yet days out from an election Mr Howard has announced that he will fund a handful of new centres across Australia – demonstrating that he will say and do anything to win the election.”

In addition, Federal Labor will:

  • Provide parents with helpful information about local child care centres such as vacancies, fees and quality status so parents are better informed;
  • Ensure child care services provide parents with notice about proposed fee increases;
  • Implement tough national child care quality standards including a quality improvement system that assesses child care services from A to E and regular unannounced spot checks;
  • Invest $73.5 million in incentives and opportunities to improve the qualifications of child care workers to ensure our children receive expert early learning and care.

“The Howard Government has refused to match Labor’s plans to make child care more affordable and accessible – demonstrating just how out of touch they are with working families,” Ms Macklin said.

Federal Labor understands the pressures facing local families and we will continue to work hard to help them make ends meet.