Simplified system for childcare commentsAustralia’s first major review of childcare since the 1990s has incorporated the option for people to leave a “brief comment” via a simple online form on their website if they do not want to make a detailed submission.
Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley said the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning realised that many parents were time-poor, but often had important points to make.
“It is the first time a Productivity Commission Inquiry has offered this type of opportunity,” Ms Ley said.
“It is also a timely reminder for the 729,780 families who use childcare in Australia, that submissions close next Monday (3 February).
Ms Ley said the online form could be accessed from any device with internet access, meaning it was perfect for people “on the run”.
She said the Government had tasked the Productivity Commission with taking a holistic view of reform, including looking at issues facing mothers returning to the workforce, rural, regional and remote communities, shift workers and disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
The Commission has released a short discussion paper posing key questions to help guide responses including: Have you experienced difficulty accessing suitable care for your child? If so, is this due to a lack of services in your area or available places at the time you require?
Has increasing workforce participation by mothers increased demand for childcare, or has improved availability, affordability, and/or quality of childcare led to increased participation?
What can childcare operators and Governments do to improve the delivery of childcare services to children with additional needs?
What are the particular challenges facing parents and operators in regional, remote and rural areas?
Whether any increased staffing costs for operators have been, or will be, passed on in higher fees charged to families?
Anyone interested in downloading the issues paper, making a full submission or finding out more about the inquiry could visit this PS News link.
To make a comment using the online form go to this PS News link. The Productivity Commission is expected to report to the Government by the end of October.
Edition 399, 04 March 2014