Word by word – December 2014

Early childhood quotes of the month from Parliament and the press.

“I know that when Scott Morrison announces this policy some time in the first half of 2015 it will deliver on what we promised to do, which was to stop the upward pressure on prices, introduce more options in home-based care and to recognise that for parents who have been designing their work life around childcare, that was the wrong way around. Childcare should be flexible enough to fit around people’s working lives.”

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Minister for Health (LP) (The Financial Review, 24 December)

“This is a backwards step, and it goes against all of the research.

Separating responsibility for early childhood and education won’t lead to better outcomes for Australian children.”

The Hon. Kate Ellis MP (ALP), Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood (Media release, 21 December)

“To All in the Child Care and Early Learning Sector,

I would like to commend you for the hard work and dedication you undertake every day to ensure Australian children receive access to high-quality early childhood education and care.

I have considered it a great privilege to have worked closely with you towards building a stronger child care sector during my roles in both Government and opposition over the past four years.

This includes delivering key election commitments such as tasking the Productivity Commission to undertake an Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning.

…Yes, there have also been some tough decisions made along the way, and I have appreciated the valuable and frank insight and advice, as well as support and understanding, from many of you throughout the process.

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Minister for Education (LP) (Message of thanks, 22 December)

“We have specific examples of family day care services claiming millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded child care payments and yet up to a third of these services’ income comes directly from their educators swapping their own children. You can’t tell me that’s not an abuse of the rules.”

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Minister for Education (LP) (Hansard, 4 December)

“Banning educators from being able to place their own children in any Family Day Care service seems a blunt and harsh decision which could increase waiting lists or even drive educators from the sector,” Shadow Early Childhood Minister, Kate Ellis, said.

Surely the Government could use the $157 million they have already ripped from the Family Day Care system to implement appropriate safeguards against rorters, without punishing every educator with children.”

The Hon. Kate Ellis MP (ALP), Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood (Media release, 5 December)

“I am very pleased that the federal government’s Long Day Care Professional Development Program will support 44 long-day-care services in Durack to help with upskilling their educators and to meet the outcomes of the National Quality Framework. Recently I visited Bernice McLeod Early Learning Centre in Exmouth, which has 24 places. The four excited staff members were thrilled to be notified of the program funding and on learning the news began a training needs analysis to develop individual work plans.”

Melissa Price MP, Member for Durack (LP) (Hansard, 3 December)

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Early Childhood Australia

Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has been a voice for young children since 1938. We are the peak early childhood advocacy organisation, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood field. ECA advocates to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children aged birth to eight years.

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