Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Bracks misleads on child care

Victorian families have every reason to feel angry about their State Government’s misuse of $400,000 of taxpayers money on a misleading and frivolous advertising campaign, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony said today.

“Premier Steve Bracks is taking Victorian families for fools. Not only are the advertisements deliberately misleading, they are a terrible waste of Victorian taxpayers’ money. It is a clear sign of a panicked Premier and a State Government that is on the nose.

“Claims made in the advertisements on child care are wrong. For the record, the Australian Government has a very strong record on child care in Victoria:

  • Child Care Benefit expenditure for Victoria families was more than $281 million last financial year. This payment is delivering an average payment of $2,000 per family per year to help with their child care costs.
  • On top of this, we expect to spend more than $42 million on support for child care places in Victoria this financial year, including more than $15 million for operational subsidies for Family Day Care places, programs for disabled and special needs children, equipment and training.
  • There are more Victorian families than ever before using Australian Government funded child care – latest figures show 125,500 families with 162,400 children in 2002 compared to 97,300 families with 128,600 in 1996.
  • There are more Australian Government funded child care places in Victoria than ever before.


Service type Jun-96 Sep-03 % increase
Community based Long Day Care 10,868 14,849 37%
Private Long Day Care 24,197 28,966 20%
Total Long day care 35,065 43,815 25%
Family Day Care (b) 16,383 17,052 4%
Outside School Hours Care (e) 18,215 61,885 240%

“The story does not end there. I have said previously that I am confident there will be more child care places in the next Budget and Victorian families stand to benefit from any increases.

“If Steve Bracks and Victorian Labor were genuine about helping Victorian families, they would spend the $10 million on Outside School Hours Care that they have been waving around for the last six months and stop holding Victorian families to ransom.

“They would also take the appropriate and long overdue steps to ensure the safety of children using Outside School Hours Care and Family Day Care. To date they have walked away from their responsibilities to implement licensing and regulation legislation for these sectors to ensure basic safety standards are implemented in these services.

“Victorians should be very wary of a Government and a Premier who will set out to deliberately mislead them in an attempt to turn their political fortunes around. This campaign illustrates that Labor, both State and Federally, will say anything to win support,” Mr Anthony said.