Page 1120 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 30 March 2011

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Mrs Dunne made mention of Ms Brodtmann’s comments, and I thank Mrs Dunne for drawing my attention to that. Ms Brodtmann went on to say in her speech:

… I would also like to commend my ACT Labor colleagues for the work that they have been doing on child care. Since the ACT Labor government was re-elected in 2008, an additional 1,200 childcare places have been licensed, bringing the total to a historic high of more than 15,500 places. There are now 245 childcare service providers, employing about 2,200 staff. A number of centres opened last year and more are expected this year. So there have been major developments on the childcare placement front here in Canberra over the last three or four years, and I commend my ACT colleagues for the work that they have been doing in that area.

She went on to say:

We are deeply committed to rising to the challenge of costs of childcare and doing all we can to assist those families and ensure their children have access to high-quality and affordable child care—child care where the teachers of the children are actually professionalised and committed to quality education.

We are committed to ensuring that families have the flexibility to choose the work-life balance that best suits their families—whether that be through the eradication of antifamily workplace legislation or the introduction of Australia’s first paid parental leave scheme or, in this case, enhancing access and affordability of child care.

Mrs Dunne interjecting—

MS BURCH: She also went on to say—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mrs Dunne, please let Ms Burch speak.

MS BURCH: She also went on to remind us all—I do not have the exact quote here—of the federal Labor government’s investment in the childcare rebate, which has just about doubled, up to $7,500. That is a far better effort than what the Liberal government has ever put in place for the childcare sector. This government recognises that quality, accessible and affordable childcare is vital to the ACT community through supporting workforce participation and providing children with valuable education.

As to supporting the training of the childcare sector, not only are we increasing childcare places, but we are committed to supporting training for childcare workers. I recently visited CIT at Woden and was pleased to learn that this year’s enrolments are approximately 250 for a certificate III, and approximately 350 are enrolled to attain their diploma and advanced diploma certificates. I remind those opposite that the diploma and advanced diploma are fee-waived training. That means free training for the childcare sector.

The government’s childcare grants and upgrades at Flynn and Spence, our commitment to increasing childcare places and to supporting training and

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