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Liberals interesting position on free child care

By johnboy - 4 June 2005 1

I’ve long been fascinated by the Liberal Party’s approach to child-care. Personally if women are expected back in the work force I think the State should be providing care, just as it does kindergarten and primary schooling.

But the private child care industry is very well represented in the ranks of the Liberal Party. Suspicious minds such as mine have to wonder if this hasn’t translated into the current peculiar system where the Government pours millions into private businesses which in turn gouge parents for their services.

So it was with these prejudices that I approached Bill Stefaniak’s latest media release (And what’s not to love about the crude Tory propaganda scrolling on the top of that site?). It’s a dense and confused tract

[Govt Child care funding] could lead to the closure of the more vulnerable private and community-based long day-care centres.

If I understand, he’s worried that free services will make life harder for the private child care cartel, competing both for customers and for staff (who are frequently grossly underpaid). I’d buy the concern a lot more readily if not for the past form of the party in dealing with this industry.

What’s Your opinion?


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One Response to
Liberals interesting position on free child care
em 9:51 am 06 Jun 05

1. Wasn’t the change to pre-school hours announced some time ago? Why has it taken so long for the opposition to say they don’t like it?

2. I too would be concerned about there not being enough qualified staff to go round all the child care centres and pre-schools in Canberra – there’s already not enough! But child-care centre staff will only defect to government pre-schools if there is better pay or conditions on offer – is that what the opposition are claiming? Hopefully it will all lead to a rise in pay for child-care centre employees.

3. The new pre-schools are only for kids over 3 years old. So child-care centres will probably only lose the staff who would prefer to work with that age group, and will probably have fewer kids in that group needing care anyway as more of them go to public pre-schools.

4. Many more women will be able to start working part time if their kids can go to pre-school for 12 hours per week. The reduction in child-care fees they have to pay might make a huge difference in whether it’s financially sensible to work part time. That means potentially more tax dollars for paying the opposition MLA’s newly increased salaries, so they should shut up and enjoy it if you ask me!

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