Pressure is mounting on the Federal Government to hold an emergency childcare summit, after the Senate today passed a Greens motion calling for one.
Senator Hanson-Young’s motion to hold the summit was supported by the Senate this afternoon.
“It is encouraging that the Senate has recognised the importance of the care of our young children,” said Senator Hanson-Young.
“Today the Senate has recognised that we need to move swiftly, bring together the key players in the sector, and gather the best information to fix this country’s childcare woes.
“Now it’s up to the Education Minister to take up the suggestion to hold this summit.”
Senator Hanson-Young also called on Minister Gillard to ensure that another giant corporate entity will not be permitted to acquire ABC Learning, now that expressions of interest to operate ABC centres had been called for.
“Minister Gillard must make a commitment that no other corporate entity, such as 123 Careers, is encouraged to sweep in, snap up the ABC centres at a bargain rate, and put us at risk of ending up in this mess again in the future,” she said.
“Clearly the status quo in Australian childcare is not working.
“We need a re-think and this summit is the first step towards transforming childcare in Australia from a market-driven industry to a government-supported first step in lifelong learning.”
The text of Senator Hanson-Young’s motion is below.
Media contact: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760
(i) the Government’s recent announcement of a $22 million package to keep ABC Learning open until the end of the year, following months of financial woes;
(ii) ABC Learning accounts for more than 100,000 long day-care places;
(b) Recognises that:
(iii) the expertise and experience of those in the sector should be included in planning the response to this crisis;
(c) Calls on the Government to hold an emergency summit of the key childcare providers from around the country, to open up the lines of communication and learn from those who are caring for children, in determining how best to stabilise and improve childcare within Australia.