Primary school principals want childcare centres built on school sites to relieve a shortage of places for babies and toddlers.
WA Primary Principals' Association president Stephen Breen called on local, State and Federal governments to cut red tape to allow the Education Department to join private operators to develop childcare centres on school sites.
He said a shortage of child care in many suburbs was putting strain on families and forcing many parents to give up careers to stay at home to look after their children.
"Primary school sites are the logical place to build a full wraparound centre that not only caters for child care but also enables early intervention strategies to be developed and implemented at the local level," he said. "The present system is hit and miss and lacks any whole of community co-ordination."
Mr Breen acknowledged the State Government's commitment to develop "child and parent centres" at some schools, but said they did not include child care.
The Education Department said about 135 public schools had before or after-school care facilities run by private providers.
But Mr Breen said they only provided care for students of primary school age, not children under four.
A handful of schools in remote areas had childcare facilities provided by the Commonwealth.
WA Education Minister Peter Collier said the main use for school sites was to provide children with a quality education.
"However, I am happy to consider all innovative ideas on how school sites can be further utilised to help meet the needs of families, including for childcare facilities," Mr Collier said.
"The Liberal-led Government has already demonstrated its commitment to delivering non-education services at schools through its child and parent centres.
"These centres will provide fundamental services to help children develop into healthy and well educated young people."Shadow education minister Paul Papalia said he welcomed the suggestion. "It sounds like a good idea," he said.
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