Posted on 29. Jul, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government is attempting to divert attention from its decision to slash funding for a popular childcare program by hiding behind cheap political stunts run by the Federal Coalition, Victorian Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader on Children and Childcare Jenny Mikakos said today.

Ms Mikakos said an event planned for Warrnambool today by the Federal Coalition was nothing more than a smokescreen designed to take pressure off Mr Baillieu and his choice to cut Take-a-Break.

“Mr Baillieu called in his Federal mates to try and distract concerned parents from his cold-hearted decision to cut this popular program,” Ms Mikakos said.

“This stunt is for an apparent ‘national’ petition, but in fact the only State Government refusing to fund occasional childcare is the Baillieu Government.

“The cheap stunt is misleading as it fails to recognise that Take-a-Break was funded entirely by the previous State Government for the last 12 months.”

State Governments in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia all fund their respective programs.

“It seems Mr Baillieu can pick up the phone to Canberra to arrange a cheap stunt, but he won’t take any action to save occasional childcare in Victoria,” Ms Mikakos said.

Ms Mikakos said parents were sick of the buck-passing, and this latest attempt to shift the blame was shameful.

“Parents and childcare workers across Victoria are angry at the axing of Take-a-Break, and they know stunts like this won’t provide quality occasional childcare for the thousands of families across Victoria who rely on Take-a-Break,” she said.

“In June the group ‘Save Take-a-Break’ presented a petition with more than 3400 signatures, yet Mr Baillieu and his children’s Minister Wendy Lovell didn’t bother to show up.

“If the Liberal National Coalition wanted to stand up for families, it would stop these shameless campaigns and fund Take-a-Break now.

“Take-a-Break is another victim of Mr Baillieu’s $960 million cuts to education, early childhood and health sectors, which will affect 220 childcare centres and neighbourhood houses across Victoria.

“Mr Baillieu can fix this problem tomorrow, by committing the $1.9 million to ensure the future of Take-a-Break.”

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