Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3091 ..
existing services already meet the ratios. Indeed, had you joined me just before question time and met with some of the childcare providers, you would have joined in a conversation where they are keen and are seeking room to expand, with the target of under two. So less than an hour ago I was talking with a local provider—a well-established and regarded provider—who wants to grow in the under two area.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?
MR COE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, with the interaction of the new staff-to-child ratios, what contingency plans does your department have in place to ensure that childcare for under twos continues to be offered to at least current levels in the ACT?
MS BURCH: The department works very closely with all providers and is assisting them in this transition process. But as I have said less than an hour ago, I had a provider who is wanting to expand in the under-two areas. So there is demand. There is response and the department will work through on a case-by-case basis with providers.
The commonwealth has provided transitional funding. The ACT is in receipt of transitional funding. We have put on staff to work through on a case-by-case basis with the providers. Indeed, we are running a scope with a number of services just in the next short time. We will go through and test the new requirements and regulations against the existing providers. So we will learn and we will adjust and transition as we go.
MRS DUNNE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.
MRS DUNNE: Minister, exactly what does Access Economics in its advice to COAG say about the impact in the ACT—
Mr Barr: Why don’t you just read the report, Vicki?
MRS DUNNE: I have read the report, Andrew. What does it say exactly about the impact in the ACT on the cost of childcare? And what in particular does it say about the cost of under-two places?
MS BURCH: I think Mrs Dunne already knows the answer to that question because she has already read it. Access Economics have said that the increase by 2015 will be $11.39. This equates to 55c per day to 2012. Access Economics have also indicated that the ACT will meet the qualification requirements under the new quality agenda by 2016. If Mrs Dunne wants me to go to the page and do that, I will take that on notice.
But what I find extremely interesting in this whole exercise is Mrs Dunne’s interest in childcare. Mrs Dunne referred me to the government’s election promises of 2008, so it peaked my interest to go to the Liberals’ election promise of 2008. I did search—