The Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis will meet with state and territory child care Ministers in Adelaide today to call for action across all three tiers of government to prioritise greater child care accessibility.
Minister Ellis said the availability of child care places is a key issue for discussion at the Ministerial Council meeting.
“We know that there has been a huge increase in child care demand since our Government increased the Child Care Rebate – we now need those who oversee planning to ensure that action is also taken to allow an increase in services,” Minister Ellis said.
Minister Ellis wrote to all state and territory Ministers in September to put child care availability on the agenda for today’s meeting.
Minister Ellis will ask each Minister to agree to her recommendation that they prioritise working in partnership across all tiers of government to investigate any barriers that are restricting growth in child care services and to address them.
“I know what a priority this is for families who are left on lengthy child care waiting lists. I know how it is affecting their workforce participation and making their juggle of work and family even more difficult and I’m asking all of my Ministerial colleagues to endeavour to take every possible action to help,” Minister Ellis said.
Options for action could include updating planning laws, releasing available land, overturning restrictive regulations and introducing incentives for growth.
“Australian families have told us that this is their priority. It must therefore also be a priority for all governments,” Minister Ellis said.
“I am proud of our very real investments and reform to deliver more affordable, more accessible and better quality early childhood services. There is more to do and it’s a challenge that we need all governments to step up to.”