NSW Labor has demanded the Berejiklian Government reinstate crucial funding for child care assessment and rating teams in its upcoming State Budget.
New figures from the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) have revealed that 1,590 NSW-based early childhood education and care services were last assessed 4 to 6 years ago, representing a shocking 30 percent of all services across NSW.
Despite these concerning statistics, the Turnbull Liberal-National Government cut $20 million in its most recent budget from the state inspectorates targeting dodgy child care operators. In NSW, this cut accounts for roughly 50 compliance positions that will no longer be funded, making the assessment program even worse than it already is.
This dire situation comes after an explosion of family day care centres across Sydney in recent years, and multiple scandals that have exposed rorting of Federal Government subsidies.
The NSW Government is ultimately responsible for regular assessments and accreditation of the 5,412 early childhood education and care services in NSW. Under previous arrangements, services were assessed every 1-3 years.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Kate Washington
“Parents need to know their children are being cared for in safe, quality child care centres.
“Under the Berejiklian Government, the compliance and rating system was already inconsistent, adversarial and woefully inadequate. With the Federal funding cuts, things are about to get much, much worse.
“Delays in assessments and ratings mean dodgy services go unchecked and great services aren’t rewarded, leaving parents completely in the dark.
“The NSW Government must reinstate the funding for compliance staff so parents have a clear and accurate understanding of the quality of their child care centre.”
Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Cabinet Courtney Houssos
“Almost 1 in 3 child care centres in NSW haven’t been assessed for between 4 and 6 years. This situation is totally unacceptable.
“With the Federal funding cuts, NSW is at risk of going backwards, allowing dodgy providers to thrive and children’s safety to be put at risk."
This item was distributed as a media release on Tuesday 12 June 2018.