Release type: Media Release


Liberals Out of Touch with Needs of Working Families

The Leader of the Opposition has shown just how out of touch he is when it comes to the needs of working families.

The Rudd Government has taken decisive action to ensure that more than 400 unprofitable child care centres are not immediately shut down, leaving thousands of kids without care.

Mr Turnbull obviously thinks government should stand back, let the market rip and have centres close immediately.

This Government's priority has and will continue to be to ensure working families can access child care for their kids when and where they need it.

Thousands of kids need somewhere to go when their parents go off to work everyday. Mr Turnbull should explain to the mums and dads of these kids why he doesn’t think the Government should step in to provide some certainty and comfort in this unique situation.

ABC Learning is the largest private child care provider in the country with approximately 120,000 children attending 1100 child care centres that employ more than 16,000 Australians.

The Australian Government has committed up to $22m conditional funding to ensure that all ABC Learning child care centres remain open and providing care until at least 31 December 2008.

The preliminary data from the receivers indicates there are 1040 ABC Learning child care centres, of which around 40 per cent are currently unprofitable.

The $22 million represents the possible costs of supporting the continued operation of the unprofitable ABC centres for two months.

During this two-month period, the receiver will continue to work closely with the Government's Taskforce and undertake a thorough review of ABC Learning’s operations.

It is anticipated that by mid December, the Australian Government will be in a position to make a further announcement about the future of ABC Learning child care centres.

The Australian Government has set up a dedicated information hotline on180 2003to provide important information to parents and employees. Up to date information for parents and employees is also available on the