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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Government to monitor corporatisation of child care

Increased funding from the Coalition Government for child care has seen record numbers of child care services and children using care Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today at the Australian Federation of Child Care Associations Conference in Hobart.

“Child care is more affordable and flexible than ever before making child care a real option for Australian families.

Mr Anthony acknowledged that the boom has brought about some corporatisation of child care. As a result, some small private long day care operators are worried about the viability of their businesses.

“This concern comes with the listing of two more child care providers on the Australian Stock Exchange recently. Small operators are particularly concerned about the location of services and levels of quality.
“However, it is important to note only 3.3 per cent of private long day care operators operate three centres or more.

“There is support from some small operators for the reintroduction of supply measures for long day care. In considering this, I need to balance the benefits that true market competition has brought to make child care more accessible for Australian families.

“Ensuring that child care is of a high quality has been a priority for the Coalition Government. It is important that families using Commonwealth approved child care are confident in the quality of care. To reflect this, we introduced a more rigorous, tougher quality assurance system for long day care in January 2002.

“The Government will continue to monitor the issues of child care growth, corporatisation and quality to ensure Australian families have access to the best possible child care the meet their needs.

“Australia is acknowledged world wide for our high quality and wide reaching child care system. However, we will not rest on our achievements and will continue the work through our record commitment of $8 billion for the next four years,” Mr Anthony said.