The ASU supports the Federal Government's announcement of additional child care help for parents using out of school hours care and is calling on councils to work with local schools to allow local government child care educators and carers to be part of the support mechanisms.
"It makes sense to use existing infrastructure, buildings and staff and other council services from libraries, sport and recreation, as part of the out of school care services. This would be an excellent opportunity for local government to work with schools to help increase use of council infrastructure and services. One of the biggest costs in any child care service is the building and land facility. Local government can help out here," said ASU Assistant National Secretary Greg McLean.
We can't lose sight of the importance and significance of an opportunity for local government to be included in the roll out of key aspects of the plan, particularly the three areas highlighted in the Prime Minister's announcement:
- More flexible opening hours – before and after school and during school holidays
- More places – in areas where parents need access to out of school hours care
- New, high quality activities and programs for children such as sporting activities, music lessons and homework clubs
At the ASU we are asking that local government be involved in these discussion from COAG down to the local level.
We see a great opportunity to make greater use of council resources from buildings, sporting facilities, libraries and more that all supported by high quality, well trained and directly employed council staff. Councils also have professional financial administration mechanisms in place to manage and administer funding such as this for services in the community.
ACTU news: Out of hours care will help working parents
6 August 2013
New funding for out-of-school hours care will help working parents manage their caring commitments with the demands of work, the ACTU said today.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said, "It's important to remember that 70 per cent of people who have children are in paid work, so they need affordable, accessible and high quality childcare as well as the ability to plan their working hours around formal care."
"Programs to support working parents, like quality before and after school care, are critical to addressing the great challenges that working parents face."
"It's not right that people should give up on opportunities for good, secure jobs just because they have caring responsibilities."
"The $450 million is a very welcome investment.
"We also need employers to step up and make sure working parents have access to good jobs that also give them time to care for their loved ones."
The ACTU recently released figures showing women earn less across every occupational group than men.
"Part of the challenge women face in the workplace is that employers are unwilling to provide the genuine flexibility they need to care for young children.
"Women fall behind in pay and opportunity because they are also juggling raising children.
"We are pleased the Labor Government has stepped up and recognised the challenges working parents face – we also need a renewed effort from business to help people maintain satisfying working lives and care for loved ones."
Contact: Eleni Hale 0418 793 885 and Ben Ruse 0409 510 879