Jun 21, 2006

Inner West Childcare Crisis

Inner West Childcare Crisis

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

21 June 2006

Anthony Albanese will launch a local childcare survey this Monday 26 June 2006 at Jarvie Park, Malakoff Street Marrickville, 2:00 pm.

“While the Howard Government has finally admitted there are childcare shortages, it still refuses to collect information on where the shortages are, or to fix them,” said Mr Albanese.

“Labor’s plan to build childcare centres for under 5s on school grounds with adequate space is the first part of a five-point practical plan that will immediately ease the strain on parents who have school age and younger kids.”

Ms Blaise Lyons of Enmore has struggled to find childcare places for her children in the inner west.

"I put Alec’s name on about 20 waiting lists when I was only ten weeks pregnant. When I returned to work I was forced to put him into care in North Sydney as there just weren’t any places available near our home. This meant increased transport and parking costs,” said Ms Lyons

"I put my second child on childcare centre waiting lists as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I do not hold out much hope of both my children being offered places in the same childcare centre on the same day."

"I would like to take Alec out of childcare now that I am on maternity leave, however, if he stops attending his current centre, it will be almost impossible to find a place for him again when I go back to work. I have been told that there are 400 families on the waiting list. It is a huge financial burden for the family to have him in care while I am not working."

"What is needed are more childcare centres. The rebate doesn’t help if you can’t find a place,” said Ms Lyons.

“The experience of Ms Lyons and her family are like many of the local families that I speak to about the struggle to balance their work and family life. Finding childcare continues to be incredibly difficult in the inner west,” said Mr Albanese.

“Every household in the electorate will soon receive a copy of the Grayndler Gazette which includes details of Labor’s childcare plan as well as the childcare survey.”

“I know family time is already stretched but I encourage families to take a few minutes to fill out the survey and return it to my office.”

“The survey will assist in building a clear picture about precisely where the childcare shortages are, so investment can go where it’s needed”.