Sue Ellery

Sue Ellery

Minister for Child Protection; Communities; Women's Interests; Seniors and Volunteering

    Quality child care a Federal election issue

    26/08/2007 10:37 AM

    The provision of quality child care services that are affordable and accessible to Western Australian families needs greater attention from the Federal Government.

    Communities Minister Sue Ellery said the lack of Commonwealth Government attention to the sector would continue to force Mums and Dads to stay at home and care for children, instead of rejoining the workforce.

    “The skills shortage in WA means that everything possible should be done to assist parents in returning to work,” Ms Ellery said.

    “If quality childcare is not easily accessible, people will continue to be unable to return to work.

    “It is not just a matter of places being available across the state. It has to be quality care, that suits the family - financially, geographically and available at times that it is needed.”

    The Minister today addressed the Child Care WA Conference, and outlined the State’s strong focus on quality child care.

    “The Carpenter Government introduced extra licensing inspectors to undertake random spot checks, meaning that every child care centre in the state, will be visited at least once every year, ensuring the quality and safety of services are continually monitored,” Ms Ellery said.

    “We are also developing more flexible models of child care in acknowledgement that in smaller population areas, you cannot necessarily expect the same ratios of carers to children as those in the metropolitan areas.

    “For the more flexible models to work, they need to attract Commonwealth funding. Child care issues affect individuals at the local level, but are part of a national problem.”

    “Parents want quality child care. They want to know that if they have one child in care, that they can get another in the same child care centre.

    “Parents want care that is near their home or work and to know it is open at times that suits them and allows them to work.

    “The Federal Government appears to be ignoring the needs of parents and the criteria that they use in choosing the most appropriate place for their child.

    “It is an important issue and it is really important that we get it right so we can assist people who we need back in the workforce.”

    Minister's office - 9213 7150