The Turnbull Government is putting children at risk by axing funding used to check that preschools, childcare centres and before and after school care centres are meeting their safety and wellbeing requirements.
Contained within the Federal Budget was a $7 million cut to the NSW Education Department’s regulatory efforts. Industry sources are now concerned that this cost will now be shifted onto childcare operators, further increasing fees for working parents.
State Government departments were only notified of this cut on Tuesday morning, hours before the Federal budget was released.
The existing regulatory enforcement regime was already under a cloud for failing to re-assess centres when their ownership changes and for failing to detect widespread fraud within the family day care sector.
This funding cut will put at risk the existing inspection and compliance workforce, making the task of keeping our kids safe while at daycare even harder.
The Commonwealth Government has a large stake in this regulatory efforts, as any non-compliance or fraud detected will reduce costs for the Federal Government through reduced childcare payments.
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“While the Prime Minister can find $17 Billion for handouts to the banks, he can’t find $7 million to keep our childcare centres safe.”
“Sarah Mitchell should join me in demanding Malcolm Turnbull restores this funding, or she should find the money in the NSW budget so that parents aren’t left paying the price”
“Families could face higher childcare costs in order to meet the shortfall in funding this important safety checks.”
“We have seen several dodgy operators entering the childcare sector. There’s a constant need to ensure operators are putting our children’s safety and well being first.”
“The sector is already struggling with limited regulatory oversight. Services that are striving to improve their rating, are often not re-assessed for years. Alternatively, new operators can buy ‘ratings’ and not be assessed for years, leaving families in the dark as to the quality of the service their child attends."
This item was distributed as a media release on Monday 14 May 2018.