Regulation of Early Childhood Education Childcare and Childcare Licensing Fees
The Hon. JAN BARHAM: My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Finance and Services, representing the Minister for Family and Community Services. Will the Minister confirm whether childcare services are still required to enter into service agreements with the Department of Family and Community Services, even though the Minister for Education is now responsible for parts 12 and 12A of the Children and Young People (Care and Protection) Act? Does the Minister for Family and Community Services agree with the Hon. Greg Pearce’s assessment of licensing fees for childcare centres on 4 December 2008 wherein he stated childcare licensing fees are “a prime example of the Government’s grab for tax and cash through its half-baked mini-budget … which will hurt employers and families”?
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: I thank the Hon. Jan Barham for her question. I am very impressed with the research that is going on. Importantly, this research is going into Hansard. It is research that has a base to it. Unlike the Opposition, which takes all of its research from the newspapers—
The Hon. Michael Gallacher: Last week’s newspapers.
The Hon. GREG PEARCE: That is right, last week’s newspapers. Then they take it out of context when they get it out of the newspapers. So they are not even satisfied with what is in the newspapers. However, it is a detailed question. Obviously, I will need to get a detailed answer from the Minister and come back to the honourable member.