The current member for Farrer is The Hon Sussan Ley MP. Farrer is the Federal Australian electorate in which Broken Hill sits.
Ms Ley is a member of the current Abbott Government. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Ley briefly at Parliament House in Canberra last year (2013). See blog post about my meeting here - 8 June 2013, Broken Hill, Sussan Ley and the Canberra connection -
|The Hon Sussan Ley MP|
Fast forward to this week. I was interested to read an article in the major daily Victorian/Melbourne newspaper 'The Age' on 26 July 2014 p 21 News section, that Ms Ley was keen to support some of the proposed recommendations from the Productivity Commission, in particular the idea of 'subletting' childcare places.
As I don't have children, understanding details about arranging childcare isn't my strong suit.
However, if you do have children, childcare is a huge issue.
I didn't realise that if you took your child out of childcare, temporarily, say for example you're having another child, or want to travel, and you therefore don't need the place for a while, there was a reasonably significant fee to hold the position open.
Another example that Ms Ley cited, "was a fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) worker, who may wish to take their child out of childcare for an ad hoc week to spend time with them", so it would make sense that they could do so without a significant financial penalty.
The Productivity Commission recommends the removal of regulatory requirements to allow parents to temporarily return their childcare places if they are not being used.
Sounds a great idea to me.
The Commission handed down a 900 page draft report into childcare and early childhood learning last Tuesday 22 July 2014. The broad aim being to create a more flexible and accessible sector.
A number of recommendations were made, and the final report is due by the end of October 2014.
The government did not wish to fully respond to the report until the report is finalised.
Whether it's Broken Hill or anywhere else in Australia, accessible and affordable childcare is a hot topic for discussion. It is critical for families to enable parents to work.
I hope there are many positive changes for the better as a result of this Productivity Commission report and the recommendations they make.
Cheers, Jane Deany
Judith Ireland and Rachel Browne are the authors of 'The Age' article were I sourced my information.