Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Labor News

WA Labor to maximise childcare options for Western Australian families

Labor Statement

A McGowan Labor Government will help families balance their working and family lives by maximising childcare options closer to schools, WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan said.

A McGowan Labor Government will: 

  • Include a site for childcare facilities in the planning for all new primary schools;
  • Make changes to the School Education Act 1999 to provide for childcare provision on school sites; and
  • Help school communities to get out-of school care services at their schools.

"Childcare is one of the biggest issues for modern families," Mr McGowan said.

"As a father of three young children I understand the priorities of Western Australian families, especially the difficulties of juggling the demands of work and family life.

"The demand for affordable childcare close to where you live or work has never been greater, especially with Perth's congestion problems.

"Families with school-aged children face the extra challenges in finding out-of-school-hours childcare close to their child's school.

"Parents with both pre-school and school-aged children face the dreaded double drop-off.

"In regional areas where childcare services can be patchy or non-existent, parents have to abandon plans to work altogether to stay home and look after their children.

"WA Labor has a plan to help Western Australian families with these challenges."

Mr McGowan said while the vast bulk of childcare facilities in Western Australia were privately operated and federally subsidised, the State Government could help in some ways.

"There's things the State Government can do such as providing land for childcare at new school sites or encouraging schools to facilitate out-of-school care services on their sites," he said.

"WA Labor will ensure that planning for every new school site has land set aside for a childcare centre and that we help school communities to get the out-of-school care services they need.

"Childcare facilities provide an essential service to families with working parents and planning in new residential areas should not be left to chance.

"By including provision for land adjacent to a new school, WA Labor will be providing a range of benefits to these new communities."

Mr McGowan said WA Labor would amend the School Education Act 1999 to provide for childcare provision on school sites and help school communities provide out-of-school care services at their schools.

"We will seek expressions of interest from communities for an out-of-school care needs audit," he said.

"If the audit determines there is sufficient demand, an investigation into the feasibility of establishing an out-of-school care facility on existing school sites will be undertaken.

"WA Labor understands the need for families to secure reliable, convenient and top quality childcare. Our initiatives will maximise the natural links between quality childcare and schooling."

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