Draft Productivity Commission Report into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning
- Assistant Minister for Education
I welcome the release of the draft Productivity Commission Inquiry report into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning today.
The Abbott Government is committed to making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible for Australian families.
This includes delivering a modern child care system that supports today’s 24/7 economy, not the 9-to-5 working week of last century.
We believe there needs to be greater choice in child care options for parents. Australian families should be able to plan child care around their work life, not their work life around child care.
We want to see a system that works just as well for families in the major cities as it does in regional, rural and remote Australia.
However, the current system is at breaking point after child care fees skyrocketed 53 per cent during Labor’s six years in office.
Child care services are struggling with unnecessary and excessive red tape as a result of Labor’s bungled implementation of the National Quality Framework, which is in turn pushing up fees.
We cannot continue with the Labor approach of blindly topping up child care payments on the nation’s credit card combined with ineffective band-aid solutions.
That’s why the Abbott Government tasked this Productivity Commission Inquiry – the first major review of the child care system since the 1990s – as one of our first priorities in government.
This is a once in a generation opportunity for reform and the Productivity Commission’s release of their draft report is the next step in this process.
However it is only a draft report and, as the Productivity Commission acknowledges, there is still much work to be done between now and the final report being handed to Government in October.
This includes a second round of extensive public consultation, starting today, and I encourage Australians to have their say. Submissions close 5 September 2014 and can be made HERE.
The Government will not pre-empt the findings of the Productivity Commission’s final report and we look forward to receiving it for consideration later this year.