Childcare fight heats up

johnboy 15 February 2011

Last week the Liberals’ Vicki Dunne was claiming growing traction for her idea for a centralised child care waiting list. (An idea not universally loved in these parts).

Today the Minister for Children Joy Burch is hitting back:

Responding to allegations from Ms Dunne that her ill-conceived idea had the ACT Government’s support, Ms Burch today assured the childcare sector the Government would continue to support choice for families.

“The Opposition’s policy to have one long list for childcare in the ACT has been resoundingly rejected by the childcare sector in my regular conversations with operators,” Ms Burch said.

“I challenge Mrs Dunne to table in the Legislative Assembly today any written support from the sector for her idea, as well as the costings for this policy and detail on how it would work.”

Ms Burch said media reports that suggested the ACT Government supported a centralised waiting list were wrong and misconstrued comments from the Chief Minister.

But there are some changes on the way:

Next month Ms Burch will introduce a Bill in the assembly to establish a ratings system against new quality standards. Parents will be able to view the quality rating of each childcare centre on the Mychild website together with information about fees and information about vacancies.

“If the Opposition are serious about making childcare choices easier for families, they should support the Government’s Bill to create a quality ratings system.”

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