BREAKING: Melbourne Greens commit to $200m “Reducing waiting list grant” in response to new survey
A plan to address high waitlists at community and not for profit centres via a new $200 million “Reducing waiting list grant” fund has been proposed by Adam Bandt, Greens Member for the Federal Electorate of Melbourne.
Information obtained by The Sector from Mr Bandt outlined that the fund would encourage centres to apply for funding, allowing them to expand and offer more childcare spaces. The proceeds are designed to assist with capital works for centre expansion, and comes in the wake of a Greens sponsored survey of availability of child care across the 10 localities that make up the Electorate of Melbourne.
The “Still waiting: Finding childcare in Melbourne” report is the fifth of its kind conducted by Mr Bandt’s office and saw 72 centres contacted with 47 centres respondents. Of the respondents 51 per cent were not for profit or community based, 26 per cent were private for profit, 11 per cent were local government managed and 13 per cent were employer based.
The report highlighted that half of the respondents had no vacancies at all in the 0-2 year old rooms and that waiting lists for 0-2 year olds were 7.9 months with on average 49 families waiting for a place at the time of survey.
In addition, the report noted that community and not for profit centres had disproportionately longer waiting lists than the average and the majority of centres stated that the major barrier to offering more places to families was the physical space limitations at their centres.
Mr Bandt noted “we’re building inner city apartments and townhouses faster than we are expanding child care centres and its starting bite” and that “not only are waiting lists too long and the number of centres with no vacancies increasing but existing centres aren’t big enough to accomodate the children enrolled.”
Recognising the particular challenges faced by the community and not for profit services Mr Bandt commented that “one important part of the solution is to give childcare centres the funds to expand.”
The new fund would be targeted to areas of high need to have maximum impact.
Further information about current Grant opportunities available through Mr Bandt’s electorate can be found here.