Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child care worker shortage to be addressed in Think Tank

 A Think Tank to discuss issues critical to the future of the child care profession will take place on 8-9 April Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, announced today.

“Child care plays an important role in many children’s early development. It is vital that there is a skilled and valued workforce of early childhood professionals.

“The Federal Government has received reports from child care services regarding the difficulties they are experiencing in attracting and keeping qualified staff.

“While this issue is primarily in the jurisdiction of State and Territory Governments, the Federal Government will take a leadership role. We want to help find solutions to this pressing problem which is confronting State and Territory Governments, child care organisations and services.

“The Think Tank will involve the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, children’s services and education and training providers. It will aim to develop strategies and solutions that will strengthen the child care profession.

“I recently launched a consultation paper that has started the process towards developing a National Agenda for Early Childhood. This Think Tank will complement the Agenda by examining the challenges that face the child care workforce.

“There is no doubt that the Coalition Government’s Child Care Benefit has made child care more affordable. This record level of financial support going directly to families has increased demand for the range of child care services.

“We recognise that there are areas where demand for child care is greater than available places. However, funding for more places will not solve this problem if there are no trained staff.

“Making child care a valued and sought after career will give even more families access to the range of child care choices the Coalition Government has provided. It will also go a long way to supporting early childhood development in Australia,” Mr Anthony said.

The ‘Think Tank’ will be held on the 8 – 9 April in Canberra and is in response to the Commonwealth Child Care Advisory Council’s report, Childcare: Beyond 2001.