The Australian Greens welcome the decision to sell the remains of ABC Learning to a consortium of not-for-profit welfare groups but say the real work to support childcare in Australia begins now, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Early Childhood Education, says the decision of receivers to sell more than 700 childcare centres to the Mission Australia-led consortium rather than private equity company Archer Capital is a win for parents and families.
"This is the right decision for the future of early childhood education and care (ECEC),'' Senator Hanson-Young said.
"The Greens want to see care transformed from a costly, corporate-run afterthought to a high quality, affordable, accessible service for all.
"Now that this large section of the market has been given to not-for-profit groups, the Federal Government must act quickly to reinforce this decision and protect the delivery of quality childcare.
"Particularly given COAG's agreement to lift childcare standards, it is vital that the Federal Government increases support for not-for-profit providers in order for them to remain viable.''
New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that tens of thousands of Australian women are being kept out of work because childcare is either too expensive or not available.
"We need to be reducing the cost of care for parents and families, not increasing it,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.
"The Government needs to be more active in the sector - it needs to link funding for providers to benchmark standards of service delivery, and plan for the future so centres are located to meet demand, rather than maximise profit.''