Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Memo to Ms Plibersek – a few facts you have forgotten

Today Ms Plibersek has failed to include a few key facts about child care policy under the Howard Government.

Ms Plibersek is wrongly claiming that “not one cent is being spent on Long Day Care” by the Howard Government.

Long Day Care places are uncapped and constantly increasing. Since 1996 Long Day Care places have increased from 168,000 to over 229,000 places.

We are spending more money, on more places for more children.

The Howard Government will meet projected demand for Outside School Hours Care following our record commitment of an extra 84,300 places.

In the 2005/06 Federal Budget the Howard Government committed to funding more new Outside School Hours Care places than Labor funded in their last year of Government.

Ms Plibersek is wrongly claiming that all parents who work require Outside School Hours Care.

The reality is that many parents will use informal care, already be using formal care or will need limited or no formal care as a result of new obligations to work 15 hours per week.

Ms Plibersek is falsely assuming that there is no formal care available for parents who are employed in shift work. Family Day Care, Long Day Care, In Home Care and Occasional Care all provide options for these parents.

Ms Plibersek is trying to cover up for the fact that after 10 Budgets in opposition Labor still have no policy which would benefit Australian families.