Greens Deputy Leader and Federal Member for Melbourne has released a report into childcare availability in the Federal Electorate of Melbourne.
The survey of child care centres examines progress since 2010 and found 76% of centres had no vacancies for the 0–2 age group, and 43% had no vacancies for 3–4 year olds. The survey also found average waiting lists of more than 12 months for children under 2 years old and that some centres have over 300 families waiting for a place.
“Governments are encouraging more people to live in the inner-city but not always providing the services to match, which in turn puts greater pressure on parents,” Mr Bandt said today.
“In Melbourne, if you don't get on a waiting list as soon as you get pregnant, it can be tough to find a childcare place.”
“Even if you do find a vacancy, centres may only be able to fit you in on certain days and some parents juggle between different providers. If you have to battle peak hour traffic to take your kids to Richmond on Monday and Friday but to Fitzroy on Wednesday, it just adds to the pressure on parents.”
“It's more than just a hip-pocket issue, it's about the added pressure it puts on people's lives.”
“Helping women return to the workforce should be a top-order election issue.”
“We need to do at least three things. If we're serious about helping women return to work and relieving pressure on parents, we'd have better work/life balance laws, world-class parental leave and more childcare places. There's enough money to do these things, it's just a question of priorities.”
“Labor made a mistake in 2010 when it back flipped on building more childcare centres. Much good work has been done in the meantime to lift wages and standards in childcare, which the Greens have fully supported, but this study shows availability remains a huge problem.”
Download the Childcare in Melbourne report