Rooftop solar on education buildings an answer for more child care places, say Parents for Climate

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Parents for Climate (formerly Australian Parents for Climate Action) welcomes today’s recommendation by the Productivity Commission that all Australian children be entitled to three days a week of high-quality early education and care.

“Along with this week’s announcement of the largest single investment in large-scale renewables in Australia’s history by the Albanese government, this has been a good week for every parent concerned for their kids’ futures,” said Parents for Climate CEO, Nic Seton.

“More clean energy keeps our kids safer, now and into the future. And the benefits of high-quality early education are huge, both for kids and parents.

“At a time when rising energy bills are putting pressure on early education centres everywhere, we would encourage all state and federal governments to invest in rooftop solar for all schools and early learning centres.

“Australia’s 9,000 school rooftops alone have the potential for 950MW of solar – that’s the capacity of a Snowy Hydro generator. But we can start building it right now, without the long approvals required for large projects.

“And adding solar to the 16,000 early learning services will not only add even more grid capacity, but save them money they’d rather spend on staffing additional places for kids.

“Bigger providers are adding solar already and saving money. But in a staffing crisis in the early learning sector, smaller services struggle to find the capacity to navigate the market without government help. So they’re paying more for energy than larger providers – that’s unfair.

“Our Solar Our Schools campaign has seen $71 million in state-level commitments for solar on public schools, but so far there is no support at any level of government for clean energy upgrades for early learning centres.”

Parents who want to support Parents for Climate’s campaign for clean energy upgrades for schools and early learning centres can sign their open letter to state and federal leaders at https://www.parentsforclimate.org/solarourschools

Parents for Climate (www.parentsforclimate.org) is Australia’s leading climate advocacy organisation for parents, carers, families and all who care about a safe future for kids, representing almost 20,000 active parents.

Parents for Climate has been at the forefront of securing renewable energy in schools, such as the NSW Smart Energy School Pilot Project. The NSW Smart Energy School Pilot Project (part of $71m awarded across TAS, WA and NSW) came into existence after a two-year Parents for Climate campaign attracted 12,000 signatories, pledges from 135 federal election candidates (including 23 elected representatives from all major parties and the crossbench), and strong support from the City of Sydney and NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell.

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