Child care union pushes for reform

AT least $1.4 billion is needed to ensure quality, affordable child care for Australian families, says the national secretary of United Voice.

Two weeks after meeting Prime Minister Julia Gillard at a child care crisis meeting she convened, the child care union was in Canberra on Monday pushing for reform.

United Voice national secretary Louise Tarrant said the only way to solve the child care crisis was to subsidise workers' income.

She said while the change would increase child care workers' wages from $18.06 an hour to about $26 an hour, it would not increase costs to families.

Ms Tarrant said the government had been using a piecemeal approach to improving the child care system.

"Limiting changes to tweaking the child care rebate will do nothing to fix the problem.

"The solution must include an injection of government funds to ensure staff in the sector receive professional wages while stabilising fees for families."

While the union applied to Fair Work Australia for an increase to the child care minimum wage to $26 an hour, the FWA decided to lift the wage by 2.9%.

Ms Tarrant said she expected the government to come back with a response to issues canvassed in the crisis meeting in the next few months.