Hinchinbrook MP holds roundtable discussion to address child care waitlist woes
Katter’s Australian Party Deputy Leader and State Member for Hinchinbrook, Nick Dametto MP, hosted a roundtable discussion with Ingham child care centres regarding the extensive waitlists causing pressures for mothers returning to work.
The Hinchinbrook MP said with a high demand of child care and limited spaces, many families are waiting months or in some cases years for an opening.
“Currently, parents in Ingham and surrounding suburbs are suffering from a dire shortage of child care availability which is creating a significant burden for working parents often forcing them to make difficult career and family choices,” Mr Dametto said.
“This situation is not only affecting our families but has wider implications for our local economy and employment rate.
“Mothers are having to enrol their child into child care and in some cases kindergarten before they are even born and there’s still no guarantee that their child will be offered a position.
“In Ingham, we have fantastic child care centres and home day care options however, the issue is there are limited positions and waitlists are continuing to grow.
“With cost-of-living pressures it can be very difficult for families to rely on one income so mothers often need to return to work after their maternity leave, we must find a solution to support them. In a modern world every child and infant should have access to quality child care.
“Earlier this year, the State Government announced that families in Queensland are benefitting from cheaper child care fees and all Queensland families will be able to have access to free kindy from 2024. These incentives are great if you can get your child into a centre but does nothing for parents that are on waiting lists.
“Having a roundtable discussion with some of our local providers was an opportunity to gain insight, feedback, and recommendations from local child care directors. I have secured a meeting next week with the Minister for Education, the Hon. Grace Grace, where I will put forward these recommendations as well as the findings from the Hinchinbrook Chamber of Commerce child care access and barriers survey.”
The Hinchinbrook MP thanked the local child care providers for their feedback and assistance during recent discussions.
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