Flexible child-care
put to the test

An Australian Government-funded trial has been launched to test new flexible child-care arrangements in Brisbane, Toowoomba and Townsville.
   Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care, Kate Ellis said the Queensland nurses, midwives and paramedics flexibility trial would be run in partnership with the Queensland Nurses Union, United Voice (Queensland) and Family Day Care Australia.
   “Both these initiatives are part of a $5.5 million package to inject more flexibility into the child-care system so it’s more responsive to Australian families’ needs,” Ms Ellis said.

Boon for shift workers
  “This is exciting news for nurses and paramedics, many of whom face a day-to-day proposition balancing their child-care needs with their round-the-clock roster.
   “We’ve listened to the concerns of dedicated shift workers who contribute so much to our well-being and ensure our most important public services are running 24-7.”
   She said Family Day Care already offered care outside traditional hours and was well placed to run the Queensland trial with the Government.
   “The trial recognises that while some form of ‘flexible’ care is provided, it is not offered in a coordinated way,” she said.
   “Currently, flexible care for shift workers is not the norm and is only offered by those family day care educators who are willing to provide it and who are attached to Coordination Units which support it.
   “This trial includes a number of elements which have been designed specifically to make it easier for nursing families to access more flexible care, as well as foster this form of care in more family day care schemes with the support of their educators,” Ms Ellis said.
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