Tassie have your say on child care reform!

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Education

Tasmanians are being encouraged to take up a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help make child care more affordable, flexible and accessible, Federal Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said today.

Ms Ley – who is the Federal Minister responsible for child care - is in Launceston this afternoon hosting a forum with Tasmanian Federal MPs Andrew Nikolic, Brett Whiteley and Eric Hutchinson to listen to Tasmanian views on the Productivity Commission’s draft report into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning.

She said it was important Tasmanians were able to have their say, with Department of Education officials to attend the forum and pass any feedback raised to the Productivity Commission.

Ms Ley said Tasmanians could also have their say online by lodging a formal submission or brief comment via the Productivity Commission’s website before consultation closed September 5 (www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/childcare).

“Tasmania had the lowest growth in the number of families and children enrolled in child care across the country in the last six years. That’s concerning,” Ms Ley said.

“The cost of child care is becoming increasingly unaffordable for Tasmanian families after fees skyrocketed 53 per cent during Labor’s six years in power.”

Ms Ley said this was not surprising, given the Productivity Commission Inquiry’s draft report found: “the affordability of childcare was the most commonly reported barrier to workforce participation for parents with children under 5 years old”.

“Tasmanian families should be able to plan child care around their work life, not their work life around child care,” she said.

“The Abbott Government is committed to making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible for Tasmanian families.

“That’s why we 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.

“The Productivity Commission Inquiry has now released their draft report for discussion and I encourage Tasmanian to have their say.”

The Productivity Commission is expected to provide their final report to the Government by the end of October 2014.

The Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Learning received more than 1160 submissions during the first round of consultation informing their draft report, including more than 460 formal submissions and 700 brief online comments.

Tasmanian Child Care Snapshot

  Sept Qtr 2007 Sept Qtr 2013 % Increase over 6 yrs
Families  14,350  15,710  9.5%
Children  20,660  22,880  10.7%
Services  296  376  27%
Hours Per Week  17.9  18.7  4.5%
Fees (national figure)  $5  $7.65  53%

Source: Department of Education

  • Tasmania had the lowest increase in the number of children accessing formal approved child care of any state and territory between Sept 2007 and Sept 2013 (second lowest was South Australia at 22.4% – more-than double).
  • Tasmania had the lowest increase in the number of children accessing formal approved child care of any state and territory between Sept 2007 and Sept 2013 (second lowest was South Australia at 22.9% – more-than double).
  • Tasmania had the second lowest increase in the number of formal approved child care services of any state and territory between Sept 2007 and Sept 2013 (Northern Territory was the lowest at 26.3%).
     

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