Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

More Outside School Hours places than ever before

Nicola Roxon asks the question “Are we bringing up more latch key children?” Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony today answered her question with a firm “no.”

“In her selective reading of the 2002-03 Budget papers, Ms Roxon has brushed over the fact that the Coalition Government has committed a record $8 billion to child care for the next 4 years to 2005-06.

“This is on top of the record $1.7 billion we expect to spend on child care for 2001-02. This commitment means that more children and families than ever before are able to access child care services.

“The Coalition Government has an outstanding record on Outside School Hours Care. We have dramatically increased the number of Outside School Hours Care places by a massive 221 per cent.

“When we were elected in 1996 there were 72,000 places and there are now 230,000. The number of services has also increased from 3,055 to 5,407.

“The Coalition Government’s policies has made child care more affordable – a fact acknowledged by Robyn Munro-Miller from National Association for Outside School Hours Care.

“I also have concerns that no State Government has moved to regulate Outside School Hours Care. It is a State Government responsibility to regulate basic safety, facility and staff to child ratio requirements. We are committed to providing quality child care and believe that taxpayers dollars should be targetted towards quality.

“The Coalition Government has an outstanding record on providing families a diverse range of child care options and will continue to do so,” Mr Anthony said.