'Appalling': clubs offer childcare

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“What an appalling message to send to children, have them holed up during the day in what are essentially gambling dens,” said Mr Kaye.

“I have grave difficulties with their sponsorship of children’s sport, but this is even more dangerous. This is the brave new world of gambling, indoctrinating children from a young age.”

A report commissioned by Clubs NSW estimated a third of 4000 clubs in Australia that pay income tax would diversify into childcare as their “primary purpose” if they could get a tax exemption for providing social services.

The McKell Institute report said clubs should create “a cradle-to-the-grave” engagement with local communities. It gave the example of the Go Bananas play centre built by St Marys Leagues Club that offered before and after-school care for $10 a day.

The clubs wanted the government to loosen rules for getting access to $100 million in ClubGrants, which was funded by poker machine taxes, so they could apply to build childcare centres within existing club buildings.

A NSW Education Department spokesman said childcare premises must meet child health, safety and wellbeing standards, but applications were considered from all providers, “irrespective of their ownership or organisation type”.

Meanwhile, the NSW Council of Social Services warned the Baird government a large number of childcare centres in NSW could be forced out of business by a draft Productivity Commission recommendation to remove tax benefits from not-for-profit providers.

NCOSS chief executive Tracy Howe said 700 out of 883 preschools in NSW and a third of long daycare centres were run by not-for-profits.

Removing payroll tax exemptions and a fringe benefit tax exemption would “severely hamper” the ability of these centres to pay staff and continue services. 

Ms Howe wrote to the Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, warning the Productivity Commission’s draft report had a “more negative impact on children and families in NSW than in other states”.

NSW childcare operators feared a push for the Commonwealth to set a national hourly rate of $7.53 for fee relief would also hit NSW families harder and leave parents out of pocket because of higher costs in metropolitan Sydney.

The Local Government Association, Uniting Care, KU Children’s Services, SDN Children’s Services, Goodstart Early Learning and Montessori jointly argued NSW childcare operators faced higher costs than the national average because of land and travel costs.


49 comments so far

  • Never mind the ‘gambling dens’ , I feel the problem would be then releasing these kids back into the hands of their inebriated parents who have been sitting there for hours drinking…

    Commenter
    Shorty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 14, 2014, 7:44AM
    • Nanny state is going too far. What next a license for parenting that needs to be renewed every 2 years and metadata surveillance?

      This is alleviating a child care issue and the RSL not generating any revenue due to governments hitting them with tax after tax. If I was a parent I wouldn’t do it but let the individual make that decision.

      Commenter
      Piped Piper
      Location
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 9:08AM
    • How about we set up bars and pokie machines in the child care centres? Problem solved!

      Commenter
      QED
      Location
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 9:41AM
    • @PP – what is exactly wrong with a ‘nanny state’? People always throw this line up whenever they can’t do what they want – can’t speed? The nanny state. Can’t drink in public? The nanny state. Can’t get your kids looked after by the people who give you the statistical odds of losing, thus stripping away your finances and wellbeing? The nanny state. The argument against a nanny state is also used as the argument for legalising marijuana, cocaine, heroin, guns and high powered explosives.

      Commenter
      Jimbo
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 10:01AM
    • Yes, a license for parenting is way overdue!

      Commenter
      Tell It Like lt Is
      Location
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 10:03AM
    • @Piped Piper – an individual that is addicted to gambling cannot fully make that decision. Anyone who has studied the effects of addiction knows this fact (reduces cognitive clarity).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 11:22AM
    • @Pied Piper. If you are going to dress up a libertarian argument at least be consistent and informed about it. Clubs receive tax breaks that the private sector would only dream about. They deliver essentially the same services as the private sector – hospitality, liquor and gaming while enjoying numerous regulatory benefits the private sector dont get. This is thanks to a sweetheart deal the LNP did with the Clubs Lobby prior to the last election. You can find numerous examples of favourable treatment meeted out by labor governments aswell.

      What they are proposing here is to get further concessional treatment by dressing up their business as a community service. Its smoke and mirrors. You clearly dont believe in competitive neutrality yet are quite ready to reach for the nearest hackneyed bumper sticker slogan about the nanny state (much a certain prime minister of ours).

      Well guess what? Dangerous goods like tobacco, liquor and drugs are all regulated. That’s because they can cause harm and that harm ultimately becomes the tax payers problem if a balance is not struck.

      How do you prefer to pay for social cost? Red tape imposed on the service provider ? Or the tax payer picking up the bill through police, courts, hospitals, crime, bankruptcy?

      Commenter
      mint slice
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 12:40PM
  • Drop off your kids and hit the pokies, first $5 free, spend a relaxing day, meet new friends over a cup of coffee, then we will strip every last cent in your bank account, have no remorse in getting you hooked by using your children as bait.

    Commenter
    Lost2
    Location
    Date and time
    September 14, 2014, 7:49AM
    • talk about leaving you children to the wolves.

      Commenter
      p
      Location
      brisbane
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 8:41AM
    • Yes, training for the next level: extreme, mindless, deadly drinking and drugs for weekend nights in “nighttime economy” areas.

      Commenter
      Tell It Like lt Is
      Location
      Date and time
      September 14, 2014, 10:05AM

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