Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Plibersek out of date and out of time

Shadow Minister, Tanya Plibersek has again shown her lack of understanding of child care by using out of date data to cover for the fact that Labor has no child care policy.

Ms Plibersek is out of date and out of time to come up with a policy on child care.

Since the survey in 2002, on which Ms Plibersek is relying primarily, the Howard Government:

  • has provided an extra 55,000 new child care places
  • has introduced the Child Care Tax Rebate worth up to $4,000 per child per year, and
  • will provide a further 72,800 new child places over next 3 years.

Labor’s policy at the last election was to provide a total of 8,000 places over four years!

Latest data shows that since 1996 there has been a 42 per cent increase in the number of children using formal child-care, with over 752,000 children using such care last year.

What Ms Plibersek fails to mention is that under Labor child care fees grew at twice the rate they have since 1996.

The Howard Government has doubled the number of child care places to more than 600,000 and the $9.5 billion we will spend over the next four years to support parents using child care is more than double the funding provided by Labor.

Ms Plibersek is out of date with the information she uses and fast running out of time to offer an alternative plan for Australian families.