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Greens to take parliamentary action to have Productivity Commission inquiry into funding childcare

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 7 Apr 2012

The Australian Greens have today widened the public discussion about nannies by announcing they will move in Parliament to have the Productivity Commission review all funding of childcare services.

"There's been a lot of debate lately about whether the childcare rebate should be extended to fund in-home care, but that's not the silver bullet for all families," Greens' early childhood education & care spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

"The government and opposition have the chance to prove they are serious about child care reforms by backing our proposal for a thorough review of the system when the motion comes before parliament in May.

"We know that there needs to be wide ranging improvements to child care services because in my home city of Adelaide alone, the average waiting list for long-term day care is 12 months' long.

"How the Government funds childcare and other early childhood services has been in need of a review for some time. The Greens believe in order to lift quality standards and access, a broad check into how childcare services across the board are provided and funded is warranted.

"The Greens have today announced they will move in Parliament for the Productivity Commission to review all Commonwealth funding for childcare and early education services. This will include assessing the childcare rebate and the childcare benefit.

"The Commission would also make an assessment on the productivity gains from a more effectively funded system that meets the needs of working parents.

"Before the Government's Paid Parental Leave scheme was introduced, the Productivity Commission spent over 12 months investigating the needs and benefits of such legislation and funding options. Its findings were used as the basis for the government's scheme.

"There is no reason why the Productivity Commission couldn't do the same again with the childcare and early education sector.

"If taxpayers are going to continue funding child care, we must have a thorough look at how best we fund and support the care and education of our youngest citizens."

"The Greens hope the government and Opposition will back this simple yet important move."

The Australian Greens will move for the inquiry when Parliament resumes next month.

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