WA have your say on child care reform!
- Assistant Minister for Education
West Australians are being encouraged by Federal Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley to take up a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help make child care more affordable, flexible and accessible.
The call comes as the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning begins public hearings on its draft report in Perth today as part of wider consultation.
Ms Ley – who is the Federal Minister responsible for child care – said over 60,000 West Australian families used formal child care, with thousands more relying on family and other informal arrangements.
She said it was therefore essential West Australians had their say on the Productivity Commission’s draft report before consultation closed September 5.
“The number of West Australian families using approved child care increased by almost 40 per cent in six years, and that demand continues to grow,” Ms Ley said.
“However, at the same time, the cost of child care is becoming increasingly unaffordable for West Australian families after fees skyrocketed 53 per cent during Labor’s six years in power.
Ms Ley said it was therefore no wonder 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”.
“Australian families should be able to plan child care around their work life, not their work life around child care.
“The Abbott Government is committed to making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible for West Australian 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 West Australians to have their say."
Ms Ley said West Australians had the option to lodge a formal submission or leave a brief online comment at: www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/childcare.
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.
Western Australia Child Care Snapshot
|Sept 2007||Sept 2013||
% Increase over 6 yrs
|Fees (national figure)||$5||$7.65||53%|
Source: Department of Education