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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

More conservative women join the childcare campaign. They have joined Jackie Kelly and Tanya Plibersek in speaking out for our children's care. Please encourage their voices:
  • Teresa Gambaro: raised two children as a sole parent, said child care had not adapted to changing work patterns.
  • Senator Judith Troeth: "I have a daughter with young children and lots of her friends would go back to work if they could find suitable child care," she said. "If the Government is serious about higher levels of productivity and getting and keeping women in the workforce, we should make child-care funding a higher priority." Senator Troeth called for incentives for business to provide care — such as scrapping fringe benefits tax on off-site child care that companies provide.
  • Senate Whip Jeannie Ferris: renewed a call for the cost of nannies to be tax deductible.
    "The cost of care for a second child makes it marginal for many women to return to work," she said. "I have never understood why deductibility can only apply if you pack up your child at 7.30am and take them off to care elsewhere."
  • Louise Markus: "Any improvements need to be responsive to the variety of child-care options that parents prefer and (should include) a more flexible approach to the delivery of child-care assistance."
  • Bronwyn Bishop: said more should be done for those whose working hours meant they needed to use nannies or other private care arrangements for their children.
    "All of our industrial relations and welfare-to-work amendments are offering more choice, and what we don't do in child care at the moment is offer choice," Mrs Bishop said.
  • Joanne Gash: said the rebate should be paid immediately.

And Barnaby Joyce has chipped in too calling for child-care rebates to be extended to cover kindergartens and nannies. Senator Joyce said many rural areas lacked a child-care centre or places, so parents were missing out on federal aid for the care of their children. Strange, he's saying what I was saying twenty years ago in north-west Queensland!