Page 1937 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 14 May 2013

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MS BURCH: I thank Mr Doszpot for his question. ACECQA recently published the first tranche of assessments under the new quality framework. Only about 25 per cent of the services in the ACT have been assessed to date. Of those, 70 per cent have been deemed to be working towards and the others have met or exceeded.

I continue to have great confidence in the services here. They provide quality care to our children. Mr Doszpot, we have set the bar through the national quality framework exceedingly high, and rightly so, because we know that quality in the earlier years is very important. I am confident that as we go through assessing the remaining centres in town, and as we go through this new framework, all our centres will meet the new quality framework, because I have confidence in the provision of care that they give.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what particular aspect of the new standard are ACT childcare centres struggling to comply with?

MS BURCH: I think if Mr Doszpot went to the various websites, he would see it, centre by centre. And he can do that work. If one centre has a working towards across any of the seven areas, then the overall status is working towards. These are new standards and I think you are jumping to a negative conclusion about the services here.

Mr Doszpot: We are asking you a question.

MS BURCH: I am giving you an answer, Mr Doszpot. You are jumping to a conclusion. The inference in your question was that the services here in the ACT are, and I do not agree with that inference.

MRS JONES: Supplementary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, given the low number of centres currently complying, why is child care in the ACT more expensive than the rest of Australia?

MS BURCH: I thank Mrs Jones for her question. Mr Softspot, I am about to answer—

Members interjecting—

MS BURCH: I do apologise. Mr Doszpot—

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, members! You would avoid these problems, Ms Burch, if you addressed your comments to the chair.

MS BURCH: Madam Speaker, I will endeavour to give Mrs Jones—

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