Paid parental leave has emerged as one of the key social policy battlegrounds for the upcoming Federal election.

An issue which has been on the agenda for more than thirty years has finally received its day in the sun and ALL Australians should be glad. For the first time in a long time both major political parties have had a consensus on a major social policy issue, although the specific details of their policies may differ.

This is a major convergence which both political parties should be lauded because it will bring Australia in line with the kind of arrangements which are offered elsewhere in the world. Parents need to make their own assessment of which of the two schemes will better serve them and their families.

However the campaign for sensible social policy for young working families should not end the paid parental leave scheme. The availability and cost of childcare in our metropolitan cities is emerging as an issue which both major parties will need to address, particularly if they want to help working couples with young children.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that working couples of Greek backgrounds are struggling to get access to childcare. They are also finding there are limits to the amount of support their increasingly ageing parents are able to offer their children.

There is also a question to be asked about whether the second generation Greek Australian baby boomers whose children are starting to have the next generation of Greek Australians will be as willing to take on an active role in the day to day care of the grandchildren in the same ways as their parents did.

One wonders whether they will be as committed to providing the same level of parental support to their grandchildren as their parents provided them.

So let’s raise our sights a little bit higher and look at the ways the Greek community across the nation can campaign for improvements in access to childcare.