Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Plibersek gets it wrong again

Comments by Labor’s Spokesman for Childcare in relation to the Child Care Management System announcement today are wrong.

Embarrassingly for Ms Plibersek she has confused the $50.8 million improved compliance package announced in the Budget, with the Child Care Management System.

Today’s announcement of $73.2 million in funding for the Child Care Management System is new money and released for the first time today.

Rather than adding to cost pressures on services, the Child Care Management System will reduce manual processes with a new IT system – ensuring Centre Directors spend less time on highly complex Child Care Benefit (CCB) paperwork, and more time looking after children. It will also ensure that more of the Government investment is on child care support rather than administration.

The Government announced that it would be providing targeted financial support for providers who need additional IT assistance. The need to upgrade systems will vary from service to service, hence the targeted support. The Government also announced that it would be providing some training support as part of the process.

Tanya Plibersek’s opposition to the Child Care Management System beggars belief. Labor has been making arbitrary promises and wild claims about child care with no hard data and information about the sector. That is not sound financial management, given the cost to taxpayers of providing child care assistance.

The taxpayer’s investment of $10 billion for quality child care warrants far better systems than are currently in place. The Government makes no apology for ensuring its investment and future policy is based on accurate and robust market information.

The Government has a far better record on child care than Labor. Not only have we doubled the number of places, with a record level of investment, but now have indicated that we will be investing in a system that will provide better child care market information than has ever been available, for families, services and the Government.