Childcare in Clubs
By Victoria Saule
“You wouldn't have childcare at a brothel or in a tobacconist yet they're both legal.”
Parents would be offered the opportunity to have their children minded while playing pokies in a club if the Clubs Australia association had their way.
Clubs Australia and the Poker Machine Lobby believe that 1000 licensed clubs offering childcare to patrons is a credible way to help the nations current Childcare shortfall.
"Not-for-profit clubs are well positioned to deliver affordable access to childcare.” Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball wrote in a submission to the Productivity Commissions childcare inquiry.
"The industry's extensive community networks, sizeable facilities, geographic footprint and capital expenditure programs ensures that clubs can help fill service gaps where demand is most acute."
The recent childcare inquiry has been prompted by the industry’s current lack of staff and resources, has sparked controversy over the possibility of means-tested childcare rebate payments.
A means-tested system would overlook how much money parents actually spend on child minding services.
Currently, parents receive a 50% refund from any child minding cost.
Ball proposed tax breaks on gambling profits in exchange for the establishment of childcare centres in clubs.
The Clubs Australia submission has not been well received.
"Putting childcare and pokies together is simply inappropriate, you wouldn't have childcare at a brothel or in a tobacconist yet they're both legal," said Tim Costello from the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce
St Mary’s Leagues Club in NSW already has a child minding facility in place that offers before and after school care for $10 a day.