Labor’s entry into the child care policy debate after three years of silence today revisits their 2007 election promise to build 260 new child care centres which then-Minister for Child Care Kate Ellis would backflip on after the election.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said yesterday Labor committed to continuing a broken child care model and walking away from reform and today Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis want to repeat history through revisiting a programme that Kevin Rudd campaigned hard on in the 2007 election only to backflip after the votes had been cast.

“The question for Ms Ellis is what has changed since 2010 when she said an injection of new places had been ‘disruptive’. This is another example of same old Labor trying to walk both sides of the streets and saying one thing before an election and then doing another in Government.

“What that evidence tells us is that an injection of more centres would threaten the viability of existing services and cause disruption for Australian families.”
– Kate Ellis – April 12 2010 (

“Labor’s child care announcement today rehashes a policy from just a few years ago that they had to abandon because it was poorly-thought through.

“After promising families rolled-gold child care centres, Labor downed tools after building just 14 per cent of the 260 they pledged at the election because a report highlighted the centres would be a waste of taxpayer funds.

“Are Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis so desperate for an election announcement that they want to steal shoddy policy from the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years? This is the same old Labor and families will look at what Labor has done on child care, not what they say.

Minister Birmingham said building new centres won’t address the fundamental problem with Labor’s approach to child care, their untargeted cash splash offers no incentives for people to work, study or volunteer.

“By throwing money at the status quo without any reform to the system and without a mechanism like hourly fee caps, Labor’s extra money will go into the pockets of child care providers rather than hardworking families,” Minister Birmingham said.

“That’s in stark contrast to the Coalition’s comprehensive reforms that are fully-funded and will benefit around one million families who work or want to work more, and those families who earn the least.”