Australian Prime Minister is proposing all-in-one parent and child-care centres that would provide every required service ranging from vaccinations to parental support. Children up to the age of five can avail of the services from those centres.
Addressing the Sydney Institute Wednesday night, the Prime Minister said his proposed parent and child-care centres would provide under one roof all the services currently delivered across various facilities by federal, state and local governments.
"These parent and child-care centres will bring together maternal and child health, long day care and preschool into one-stop shops for parents with young kids," he said.
Rudd said the proposal was ambitious and there was no estimate how much it would cost.
He would also have to win the next four elections to be around and see the centres established.
The centres will be Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's big idea at this weekend's 2020 Summit in Canberra. He will be joined by 1000 of the nation's "best and brightest" where ideas will be exchanged about the nation's future.
Rudd said his parent and child centres would provide low-cost services to families. Some services, such as day care, would require fees, but they would be subsidised by the Government.
"Access to these parent and child-care centres would be universal, but not compulsory, and the quality of service provided would be underpinned by strengthened national quality standards," he said.
Some of the services would be provided by the private sector, resulting in competition that would increase quality and lower prices, he said.
The services to be provided would include baby health checks, baby weighing, feeding advice and vaccinations. For older children there would be long day care and play-based activity, preschool and early learning and parental support and advice services. Rudd said collapsing the various services into one centre would save money and reduce duplication.
It would also benefit the disadvantaged, reports Phillip Coorey for Sydney Morning Herald.