Local, Independant and Effective
September 16, 2016

Mobile children’s services under threat: Cathy McGowan

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan is calling upon the Turnbull government to consider a rural and remote funding stream to continue essential mobile child care services.

The move would save 45 mobile children’s services across Australia, including one that operates out of the Albury Wodonga Community College (AWCC). AWCC delivers early child care and education services to about 330 families in rural locations in North East Victoria and southern NSW, from its regional centre in Wodonga.

The Budget Based Funding and Family Assistance Legislation Amendments (Jobs for Families Child Care Package) Bill 2015 is designed to streamline child care arrangements as a budget savings measure but fails to take into account the different circumstances of delivering services to rural and regional.

“The government’s approach of ‘one size fits all’ will disadvantage families in rural and regional Australia,” Ms McGowan said.

“All children must be able to access essential child care and education services, including those living outside of metropolitan Australia.”

Ms McGowan on Thursday met with the Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham, outlining the unintended consequences of the transition process and asking him to consider a rural and remote strategy be included as part of that process.

“Without this strategy there is an expectation the transition from Budget Based Funding would mean most mobile services would be unsustainable,” she said.

Ms McGowan welcomed a Senate inquiry into the Government’s child care changes and called on those affected to make a submission.

To find out more about the inquiry and how to put forward a submission visit: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Education_and_Employment/JobsforFamilies45th

Ms McGowan would be pleased to receive a copy of submissions at her office as well.

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