Assistant Minister consults Hinkler child care sector

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Child care costs increased $3,500 a year under Labor, Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt revealed today.

Mr Pitt was today joined by Federal Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley, who he invited to Hinkler to hear local concerns over the rising cost of child care.

Ms Ley took the opportunity to outline the Coalition’s $200 million Long Day Care Professional Development Programme, which will help local child care centres with the cost of up-skilling their staff.

“Access to quality childcare is essential to creating better economic and employment opportunities for Hinkler residents,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Coalition has kept its promise to task the Productivity Commission with examining ways to make child care more affordable, flexible and accessible.”

Ms Ley said Australians had embraced the opportunity to raise their concerns, making more than 1100 submissions during the Productivity Commission Inquiry’s recent submission period.

“Families Australia-wide are struggling to access affordable and flexible child care due to fees skyrocketing 53 per cent nationally during Labor’s six years in government and Hinkler clearly isn’t immune. That equates to an additional $75 a week or $3,500 a year,” Ms Ley said.

“Child care affordability has become a national problem no thanks to Labor and I’m determined to address these unsustainable increases in child care fees to ease the pressure on family budgets.”

Ms Ley said she was also working with her state and territory counterparts to reduce Labor’s red tape burden on child care centres in a bid to reduce pressure on fees.

The latest Department of Education figures (Sept 2013 quarter) show the average hourly rate for long day care was $7.65. This figure compares with an average hourly fee of $5.00 in the corresponding Sept Qtr in 2007, when Labor took office.

While in Bundaberg, Ms Ley met parents and staff at a local child care centre and attended a round table meeting with centre operators from across the Hinkler electorate.

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Mr Pitt’s media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814

Ms Ley’s media contact: Troy Bilsborough 0427 063 150