Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Macklin call for child care duplication risks increased costs to parents

“Labor’s latest demands on child care highlight, yet again, that it has no idea about child care safety, quality and the responsibilities of the Commonwealth and State Governments,” Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said today.

“In calling for “safety” to be “put back” into the child care accreditation system, Labor’s Jenny Macklin ignores the fact that no service can even apply to be accredited without first having a state-issued license and that state licensing covers issues of child safety and protection.

“Ms Macklin should know that.

“What Jenny Macklin is proposing is to duplicate state licensing and regulation in the accreditation system.

“Our improvements to child care accreditation are about strengthening the system and reducing duplication.

“Labor’s approach is to duplicate a system already in place in states and territories – a move which would only increase compliance costs, increase bureaucracy for providers and, as a result, lead to higher fees for parents, possible buck-passing and confusion.

“While claiming she wants higher quality child care, Ms Macklin would rather maintain the current accreditation pass mark of 50 per cent rather than follow the new system which would require a simpler 100 per cent pass/fail criteria for quality.

“The fact is that Jenny Macklin is deliberately misleading people for her own political purposes. She must know that states have always licensed child care centres and that they have primary responsibility for the health and safety of children in child care.

“If Ms Macklin genuinely believes that her Labor colleagues have failed, she should show some courage and say so.

“The fact that she is not taking on the states on the issue exposes her real motive; trying to score political points by scaring parents.

“No one who engages in such appalling behaviour deserves to be in a position of responsibility in government.”