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Govt must develop a funding plan to lift childcare wages and improve quality to ensure children are given the best care

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 19 Jul 2012

The Greens welcomed the review announced today by the Early Childcare and Education Minister but stressed the need for funding reforms across the sector that will improve flexibility and quality of care for all families.

"We know that the best way to reform the child care sector is to directly fund centres and boost spending so child care workers are paid wages that reflect their important contribution to children's early life" said Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson for Child Care and Early Education today.

"The Government must focus on identifying the best ways of funding services so they deliver the outcomes Australian families need, that is quality, accessible and affordable childcare.

"The Government spends over $3.7 billion on childcare yet parents still struggle to meet rising costs. The Government must seriously consider overhauling the current funding models so that services are funded directly, and linking funding to quality and accessibility so that families aren't always left filling the ever widening gap.

"The best way of ensuring the top quality care for our youngest children is to ensure we have well-qualified and trained staff and this means we need to pay decent wages and keep high-achieving people in their jobs.

"Currently dozens of childcare workers leave the sector each week. Improving the quality and accessibility of childcare won't happen while childcare workers keep being paid less than manual labourers and cleaners.

"The Government needs to urgently develop a funding plan to raise wages without making parents keep paying the difference and bringing about more service closures or inflexibility.

"The Greens are also urging the Government to set up a government-backed permanent capital grants fund which centres can access to expand facilities to cope with the long waiting lists prevalent across much of Australia, and avoid passing costs onto parents in further fee hikes".


MEDIA CONTACT Kelly Farrow: 0427 604 760

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