Row erupts over childcare places

Labor has warned some parents won’t be able to return to work unless more childcare places become available.

THE federal opposition has warned of a looming shortage of childcare places.

But the government has dismissed the report as “scaremongering” and an embarrassing incapacity to understand projections.

Labor’s early childhood education spokeswoman Kate Ellis today seized on forecast figures in the budget update from last month which state an extra 300,000 children will enter the childcare system by 2020.

“If parents can’t get a child care place, they can’t return to work,” she said, adding that it impacted on the economy and family budgets.

She urged the government to do more to tackle the chronic waiting lists.

But Education Minister Simon Birmingham hit back saying Ms Ellis had demonstrated an “embarrassing” incapacity to understand the projections.

“Projections indicate that under our childcare reforms an additional 300,000 places are expected to be created and in receipt of childcare support over the next three years,” he said.

About author