Liza Hope, who has looked after her 15-year-old grandson Mason since he was a one-year-old, said it was some parents who could do with the TAFE course.
Liza Hope, who has looked after her 15-year-old grandson Mason since he was a one-year-old, said it was some parents who could do with the TAFE course. Contributed

We aren't idiots: Gran slams child care shake-up

A SUNSHINE Coast grandmother has slammed a suggestion that grandparents need a TAFE course to qualify for child care payments in a proposed shake-up of the complicated system.

Liza Hope, who has looked after her 15-year-old grandson Mason since he was a one-year-old, said it was some parents who could do with the TAFE course.

Ms Hope, a member of Children in Grandparent Care Inc, welcomed some of the recommendations in a draft report on child care by the Productivity Commission.

She supported the idea that grandparents should receive some pay for taking on the responsibility of child care when parents head back to work.

But she was frustrated at the idea that grandparents would need a TAFE course to qualify.

"If they are going to put people through courses, why not put the parents?" she said.

"We are up to speed with all the changes in Workplace Health and Safety, we haven't sat in the Dark Ages and not learnt about it.

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"If they are going to qualify people to look after children, they are going to have to qualify everybody.

"At the end of the day, elderly people cop so much discrimination. We are not idiots, we do keep up with the times.

"We know what's going on in the world and in politics. We are all savvy and raise fantastic children.

"It is a pain in the bottom to go along to courses.

"Some might want to, but I don't think many will.

"Life experience should count for some kind of credit.

"We have all already raised children."

Ms Hope was supportive of children being involved in day care, especially before Prep, and strongly believed grandparents deserved support for helping out.

"I do think they need compensation. It is hard work, little ones need engaging, and you have to give up your time and energy and give up your own pursuits.

"Most people do it selflessly,'' Ms Hope said.

"They have to find a better option of paying a lot of money in child care without too much red tape."

Draft report

Other key recommendations from the Productivity Commission include:

  • Nannies being eligible for child care subsidies subject to appropriate qualifications (au pairs would not be eligible).
  • Removing restrictions on the number of child care places for occasional care and the hours that centres have to be open to receive government subsidies.
  • School principals being responsible for ensuring schools offer before and after school care.
  • A continuation of government support for access to preschool for all children in the year before starting school.
  • Increasing funding and subsidies for children with disabilities.

The Commission is inviting submissions on the draft report and its recommendations by September 5.


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