Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

No compromise on child care quality

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony will meet today with Australia’s child care quality watchdog, the National Childcare Accreditation Council, to discuss the expanded role it will play.

“The Council is charged with the vital task of making sure child care services across Australia meet the stringent quality assurance standards set down by the Coalition Government.

“It has already overseen the implementation and management of the Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS) for long day care centres since 1994, and the introduction of a new and improved system in January this year.

“Last year also saw the official start of the Family Day Care Quality Assurance system and the Council is now preparing for the implementation of Outside School Hours Care Quality Assurance, which will start in July 2003.

“Most forms of approved child care will be covered by a national set of standards and this will further strengthen child care services to children and families.

“We have a responsibility to parents who make the often difficult choice to put their child in care, to ensure that they can be confident that their child will be looked after in a safe and nurturing environment.

“Therefore, the Council performs a critical role in reassuring families on the quality of care being provided. The quality assurance systems also provide a form of accountability to the Government and to taxpayers, for the funding provided to services.

“With the quality assurance system expanding, the Council will have an even bigger role to play and I will be talking to them about how they will meet the new challenges that lay ahead.

“There can be no question that providing affordable, quality child care is one of the great success stories of the Coalition Government with record numbers of families using formal care and our record $8 billion commitment over the next four years.