To: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

Fix our failing child care system

Fix our failing child care system

Dear Prime Minister

We ask you to commit to fixing our failing child care system.

In 2007, you committed to ending the ‘double drop off’ by building 260 new child care centres. In 2010, you dropped this promise for no convincing reason. Since then, the situation for families across the nation has gotten worse.

As the Brisbane Courier Mail reported in January 2013, "our child care system is plagued by a surging demand that is now growing 13 times faster than supply. Three in every four long daycare centres in Australia's capital cities do not have any vacancies for babies, a survey reveals. And two-thirds do not have places left for toddlers. Parents are having to wait up to three years for a place, forcing them to quit their jobs, rely on grandparents or hire expensive nannies or unqualified babysitters" (Natasha Bita, Childcare not stacking up, The Courier Mail, 19 January 2013).

Anne Summers recently concluded that 'It is difficult to think of another area of policy where the government spends upwards of $5 billion a year on something that is found satisfactory by so few people'. (Anne Summers, 2013, The Misogyny Factor, p65).

We call on you to commit to rethinking how child care is funded in Australia. To be credible, this would involve serious consideration of the re-establishment of direct public funding for community-based and not-for-profit child care facilities and an increase in new facilities, especially in areas of high unmet demand or growth and areas of high socio-economic need. Lets face it, the current market model has been a policy failure.

Why is this important?

The AWCCI report Closing the Gap on Child Care in Australia recently found that:
- The child care system is plagued by a surging demand that is growing 13 times faster than supply.
- Working parents are finding it increasingly difficult to secure adequate child care for their children, resulting in up to a three year wait for long day care centres. This forces many women to either resign in order to take on child caring roles, rely on grandparents, or hire expensive private carers.
- A 2013 survey conducted by the Australian Greens confirmed that current child care services are not meeting the increasing demands faced by parents within the workplace, with three in every four long day care centres in Australia's capital cities not having any vacancies for babies, and two-thirds not having available places for toddlers.

The solution is a 'non brainer', as Australian academic and social commentator Eva Cox explains:

"Fund child care as a public service, like schooling: What happened to quality neighbourhood community children’s services that took in kids for the hours they and their parents needed? The early years are the time when kids learn most so they need good quality, communal and affordable, if not free, centres. So let’s start directing subsidies to the services which meet various local needs: more spaces for babies, flexible hours, located where and when needed, plus more services for school kids too!" (Eve Cox, July 2013, 'Feminism on the Election Agenda', The Hoopla)

References:
AWCCI, 2013, Closing the Gap on Child Care in Australia: http://www.fiftyacres.com/AWCCI%20_Childcare_Issues_Paper_July_2013.pdf
Natasha Bita, 2013, 'Childcare not stacking up', The Courier Mail, 19 January 2013: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/childcares-crisis-survey/story-fnek2nxs-1226557301455
Eva Cox, 2013, 'Feminism on the Election Agenda', The Hoopla, 17 July 2013: http://thehoopla.com.au/feminism-agenda/
Anne Summers, 2013, The Misogyny Factor, p65

How it will be delivered

Mums, how shall we deliver the signatures? How about we converge on Parliament House, kinds in arms, to hand deliver the signatures? Give us your ideas here: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedMothers


Reasons for signing

  • we spend twice as much a week on childcare as on our mortgage. This is insane.
  • After School service staff Casual rates start at $20.23/hr, Supervisor $25/hr. Very few full time positions. "Child care" not in a School r under National Award: goes to $29/hr Casual. We r now all educators alongside teachers & need a Diploma (min) & FOUR other cert's to START. Cleaners & McDonald staff get same or more pay. To attract volume of students to work with children we need educator type pay rates. Lets lobby for that !!
  • In this poor economic climate both parents need to work to live but they need peace of mind that their children are getting the best possible care when they can't be there

Updates

2013-08-05 17:31:07 +1000

25 signatures reached

2013-08-04 12:00:15 +1000

10 signatures reached