Whocare for childcare? (The Glass House 17/5/06)

The Coalition and the ALP are falling over each other in the race to improve childcare. Peter Costello’s budget abolished caps on in-home childcare, while Kim Beazley promised some free crayons and an apple for playlunch.

But no-one’s asking the children what they want. I did a quick survey of two year olds, asking what improvements they’d like to be made to the childcare system. The most popular response was (howling) “I want my Mummy!”

Amanda Vanstone has introduced an alternative policy for solving the chronic childcare shortage – just stick all the excess children behind bars! Too easy.

There’s a huge shortage of childcare, which is needed because their parents are too busy. What we really need is a bit of adultcare…

Of course, the best way to attract workers to childcare is to actually pay them a decent wage. At the moment, they’re mostly paid in cuteness and vomit.

Of course, the modern way to improve childcare is to get a bigger screen…

The modern way to improve childcare would be to up its bitrate and double its capacity.

One sure way to see that children are looked after is to encourage parents to do it themselves. That’s what the IR reforms are really about: forcing at least one parent to stay at home. By sacking them for no reason. “You’re fired – you know I’m only thinking of the children.”

Part of the Government’s new childcare strategy is sending the little’uns to Iraq. After all, there’s lots of people over there who’ve lost their own children and would love someone to look after…

The Government’s official policy is that with the new tax cuts, rich folk can afford top-quality nannies, and poor folk shouldn’t be breeding anyway.

The Budget promise will allow the free market to fix chronic childcare shortages. Because the free market is tops at changing nappies…

One solution is to let “market forces” rule over the childcare sector. Soon you’ll be able to have your kids at BarbieCare, where they don’t feed the children, they just go shopping for clothes; or WigglesCare, where the kids are looked after by a pirate, a dog, an octopus and a dinosaur. Talk about quality care – Henry the octopus can change 4 nappies at once!

Some of the new free market childcare centres springing up include PepsiCare, McChildcare and Kentucky Fried Children. Although that last lot should really look at changing their mission statement… / revising their policies…

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