Almost 1000 submissions and comments have been received by the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning and that number is still rising, Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said.
Ms Ley said over 250 full submissions had been published on the Productivity Commission’s website just a week after the official comment period closed (Feb 3).
She was also “thrilled” to see Australians embrace a Productivity Commission-first allowing people to leave a brief comment, with about 700 counted to date.
Ms Ley thanked Australians for taking the time to have their say on the largest review of the entire child care sector since the 1990s.
“Child care is no longer just about delivering a quality service – it plays a role in everything from the impact on family budgets through to the prosperity of our economy and nation,” Ms Ley said.
“Australians clearly recognise this and it’s fantastic to see so many having their say on the future of child care in our nation.
“I was particularly pleased to see a large number of submissions were from parents, educators and operators dealing with these issues at the coalface every day.
“This also shows Australians believe there are significant issues around flexibility, affordability, accessibility and workforce participation after Labor’s six years in power.
“It’s definitely vindicated the Government’s decision to task the Productivity Commission to undertake an Inquiry into the entire child care sector as a priority.
“It’s just disappointing Labor never took the initiative in government and actioned the Coalition’s calls for a Productivity Commission Inquiry into child care, especially when fees increased 50 per cent under their watch.”
Ms Ley said www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/childcare would continue to be updated over the coming weeks. The Productivity Commission will deliver its draft report mid-year, followed by public hearings. The final report is due for October 2014.