Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Labor offering nothing on standards of child care

“Jenny Macklin’s bleating about child care standards is notable for the absence of any solid policy initiative to address the issues,” Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said today.

“What Ms Macklin seems to fail to understand, is that the issues raised by the National Childcare Accreditation Council’s latest survey, are the responsibility of state and territory governments – her Labor colleagues.

“The Howard Government is already acting to improve accreditation processes, which will ensure the focus is on quality care for children.

“Far from lowering standards, our changes are about strengthening the system and ensuring that appropriate quality standards are being met in all approved child care services.

“Integrating the existing three separate Quality Assurance (QA) systems, which assess quality of care provided by Long Day Care, Family Day Care and Outside School Hours Care services into one system will streamline processes and reduce overlap and duplication between state government regulations and QA.

“The Howard Government has also introduced quality assurance spot checks to ensure that services are maintaining the quality standard on a daily basis.

“Consultation with the child care sector is underway and includes public discussion forums which are about to commence.

“Despite Ms Macklin’s claims, Labor’s plans for child care won’t do anything to reduce costs. In fact, requiring all child care providers to have tertiary qualified staff will increase pressure on costs while its refusal to detail where its 260 new centres will go does nothing to provide certainty to many private, community and Family Day Care services that have invested heavily to provide quality care.

“Ms Macklin’s claims about child care costs are as hollow as Labor’s commitments on petrol and grocery prices – as Wayne Swan has already admitted – Labor can’t promise lower prices.”