House debates

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Statements by Members

Child Care

1:45 pm

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to call on the Gillard government to immediately reinstate federal funding for occasional child care. Occasional child care is a low-cost, high-impact program providing critical support for 9,000 children and their families in Victoria alone. In the Boroondara area, which virtually mirrors the boundaries of my electorate of Kooyong, eight community centres, including in Camberwell, Canterbury and Hawthorn, stand to lose more than $92,000 in funding, directly affecting vital services provided to 800 children under the age of six.

Occasional child care is fundamentally different to kindergarten or normal child care. Services are typically provided by community houses as with the Take a Break program in Kooyong, where parents and guardians can access affordable care, providing them with just a few valuable hours of respite to undertake other activities in either the voluntary or paid sectors.

The coalition has promised to provide the $12.6 million necessary to fund occasional child care, and the Gillard government should waste no time in reversing its inexplicable decision to cut support for this vital community program.