Parents are dumping their children at indoor play centres so they can go shopping or to avoid the soaring cost of day care, according to a Herald Sun investigation. The paper says police are being called in every week after children were found unsupervised at play areas across Victoria.
Centre staff say the problem is worse during school holidays. 'I would say one in five parents try to sneak off,' said Docklands Monkey Mania centre supervisor Lesley Salazar. At least four centres have contacted police and the Department of Human Services because children were left alone for several hours.
Ms Salazar said supervised care was available, but many parents still risked their children's safety. 'It is a big liability issue,' she said. 'We are not meant to be responsible, the parents are, but if something happens we will be blamed.'