Monday, 24 September 2018
A Shorten Labor Government will ban child care and early education providers from offering inducements to boost their enrolment numbers, protecting parents from being lured into child care arrangements which may not suit their needs.
Recent reports have highlighted the alarming lengths which some child care and early learning centres are willing to go to in order to secure enrolments in their centres.
Some examples of the inducements being offered include holiday packages in resorts, cash refunds, and free iPads.
Labor does not believe this in an appropriate use of taxpayer funds.
The Commonwealth Government is projected to spend $7.9 billion on the Child Care Subsidy this year. This funding is to support families meet the costs of child care and early education – not for providers to give away in a mad scramble to increase enrolments.
For profit providers are making $1 billion in profits from the system. This profit is underwritten by the taxpayers.
Enrolling inducements do not meet community expectations and undermines the value of quality in early learning centres.
That’s why if elected, Labor will ban providers offering any goods, services or activity that is unrelated to the delivery of early childhood services being offered to incentivise parents and carers to enrol their child in a centre.
Centres will still be able to offer families refreshments when they hold orientation sessions and end of year celebrations – but the days of free iPads and free accommodation are over.
Under Labor’s policy families and educators will be able to confidentially notify the Department of Education and Training of any incentives or behaviour which they suspect is an inappropriate inducement. Any provider found to be offering such inducements will have their licence to receive the Child Care Subsidy revoked.
Labor’s policy to ban inducements will put the focus back on child care and early learning centres competing on the quality of early learning and care they provide our children.
Labor will always prioritise quality early education.