Monday, August 5, 2013

ALP pledges $450m for school care - The Australian

PM Kevin Rudd announces $450m to provide before and after-hours school-based care.

Political editor Dennis Shanahan says Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott will face off over their own economic plans for the future.

Opposition Tony Abbott highlights the government's division and dysfunction over the last three years.

LABOR has announced a $450 million boost for before and after hours schools-based care for children.

Announcing the policy today, Kevin Rudd said the measure would boost productivity and ease household costs.

The Prime Minister said the cost of the measure had been included in last week's budget update, which had a $500 million allowance for policies yet to be announced.

"This is a bread and butter cost-of-living measure," Mr Rudd said.

"It's also about ensuring our schools are the best possible environments to boost the skills and education levels of our kids. And that's all about preparing the economy for the future and managing the big transition ahead of us."

With the election writs to be issued at 5.30pm today, the pledge has the status of a government policy rather than an election promise.

Mr Rudd said the money would fund 500 schools to provide more flexible after-school care, more places and higher quality activities and programs such as sporting activities, music lessons and homework clubs.

"The practical stuff which makes that time before and after school useful and a fun place to be as well," Mr Rudd said.

Early Childhood Minister Kate Ellis said the program would not affect existing child care arrangements for parents - the child care rebate remains.

"The point of this arrangement is trying to ensure we have more places, more parents being able to use those places," she said.
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