The dumbest idea in The Childcare Reform suggestions.

Lucy with her son Harry


What a shame the much anticipated Productivity Commission draft report into childcare launched today didn’t consult with any ACTUAL parents.

Well, if they did it’s hard to imagine who they asked – why would anyone want to send the grandparents to TAFE so they can look after the kids?

Yes that’s right. The Productivity Commission has recommended that grandparents join nannies and all other types of childcare workers at TAFE to complete a Certificate 111 in early childhood education before they ‘take on the job’ of minding the grandkids.

Isn’t once having been a parent to young children yourself not enough of a prerequisite?

Apparently not. According to a report by the SMH today, the ‘quality of care’ would also be scrutinised by a national auditor, with ‘providers’ AKA Grannie and Pop,  being subject to “targeted random checks”.

Whoa. What? Isn’t that a bit serious? Hard to imagine how well that would go down with Grandma and Grandpa who are already giving up a part of their week to spend time with the grandkids.

How is this a solution to the childcare problem in Australia?

Also, where also does the Commission expect these grandparents will find the time to study anyway? Most of the grandparents I know are still working. And with the recent prediction that most of us will be working till 70 anyway, that doesn’t look likely to change.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this recommendation is that it fails to provide a solution to the childcare problem in Australia. In fact, I don’t think it can be called a solution at all and Australia’s working parents desperately need a solution.

Think about it. How many parents do you know who have a seamless system of childcare in place that supports their need to work, alleviates care concerns for their children while also sticking to the household budget? Nobody. Unless of course you’ve already got the grandparents doing it for you.

As Shauna Anderson wrote for Mamamia this morning, the childcare issue in Australia is reaching crisis point. Forty percent of children under 12 are in some form of childcare and their parents are paying almost 30 per cent of their wages to keep them there.

It can’t be more obvious. Dear Productivity Commission,  Working parents need a fair, equitable, accessible and SIMPLE system to support them returning to work. They don’t need more hoops to jump through. Especially not ‘something else’ to burden their own parents with.

“Oh yeah, hi mum and dad, just me. Would you mind ducking down to TAFE before heading over to mind the kids this year? Yes, TAFE. Need you to get a certificate in childcare before the auditor comes around…”

What do you think about the Productivity Commission Childcare report suggestions? Would you ask your mum or dad to take TAFE classes before minding your kids?