29 January 2014

At a time when parents are facing growing waiting lists, it has been revealed today that the Abbott Government is sneakily cutting more child care places.

A $5 million program set up to get the Federal Government and local councils working together to expand childcare places has been put on ice since the Coalition has taken office, with all records of the program wiped from the Department's website.

Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, revealed today the Government won't act on applications which have been assessed with funds ready to be distributed as it is "now assessing the merit of programs like this one."

"The Government wanted to conduct a review of the sector, but they never said they'd do nothing until it was completed," Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, said.

"At a time when waiting lists are worsening, the Government needs to explain to Australian parents why they are axing another important family support measure.

"The Government's review has thrown the whole sector into uncertainty and will place additional pressure on waiting lists - there is no excuse for also cutting modest programs which help create more places.

"Parents need child care places now, not the excuses, reviews and inaction of the Abbott Government.

"If they don't have any policies to ease the pressure on waiting lists, the least they could do is get out of the way and not cut existing programs designed to do just that."