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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 28 October 2010) . . Page.. 5285 ..

In regard to Mr Coe’s—I nearly called you Mrs Coe; I do apologise for that as well—I will—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, order!

MS BURCH: Thank you.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe?

MR COE: Minister, have you read the Treasury’s paper? If so, what assumptions and estimates do you disagree with?

MS BURCH: I look forward to reading it in detail and being able to come back to Mr Coe.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Dunne?

MRS DUNNE: Minister, given the evidence presented by Treasury in its paper—given that the evidence in the Treasury paper is that steadily rising childcare fees in the ACT—sorry, Mr Speaker, I distracted myself.

MR SPEAKER: Skip the preamble and go straight to the question, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: You picked it. Minister, are the steadily rising childcare fees in the ACT sustainable or is childcare becoming a luxury for young married mothers?

MS BURCH: As I have repeated here a number of times, the childcare fees are indeed set by the childcare operators. We do have a new quality framework coming on. We have articulated that that will, indeed, incur some increased costs—55c a day, I understand, in 2012. But that is all about improving the quality of care for young children in Canberra families. Not one person I have spoken to has objected to bringing in quality childcare. If that comes with a 55c a day increased cost, that is something that the families that I speak to are more than happy to pay.

As far as what this government does to offset some increased costs to provide increased support to the sector, it is about the workforce activity that we do through fee waivers for CIT through the department of education. This is through the university placements for those young men and women who may be seeking to become early childhood teachers. It is around the many, many hundreds of thousands of dollars that we put through the sector in supporting them through minor capital improvements so their centre continues to meet the quality standards so we better support Canberra families.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

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