Word by word – January 2015

“During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority — so this country provided universal childcare. In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us. And that’s why my plan will make quality childcare more available, and more affordable, for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America — by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.”

Barack Obama, President of the United States of America (Dem) (State of the Union, 21 January)

“It’s kind of remarkable that somewhere in the world today, it’s highly probable that a child has been born who will live to be 150. That’s a long time.

The question is how we live with dignity and ensure we have a good quality of life the whole way through. This is the conversation we [the government] are going to have with Australia over the next few months.”

The Hon. Joe Hockey MP, Treasurer (LP) (Fairfax, 20 January)

“This is an incredibly important job; it makes up more than one third of the budget, $150 billion a year is spent in this space every year. It covers everything, from dealing with multiple ethnic communities through to ageing and childcare of course will be a very central component of what we need to do and particularly soon.”

The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Social Services (LP) (2GB, 26 January 2015)

“Whatever reform happens they need to make sure it happens carefully and give people time to adjust. If people have two children in long day care the costs are substantial and those costs must be taken into account.”

Samantha Page, CEO Early Childhood Australia (Fairfax, 17 January)

“We believe targeting increased investment this way would reach more families and is also where government will get the best bang for buck in terms of productivity.

Mothers are saying to me right now they are being forced to rethink how much they can work because childcare is just too expensive and their subsidies run out.”

Jo Briskey, Acting Executive Director, The Parenthood  (News.com, 25 January)

“I’ve already been contacted by many families and providers who are worried about waiting lists and affordability in the child care sector as a result of these [family day care] changes.”

The Hon. Kate Ellis MP, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood (ALP) (Media release, 23 January)

“Stay-at-home parenting is superior to ‘day orphanages’ (childcare). We need to reform our tax/welfare system to support parenting.”

Rev. Fred Nile MLC New South Wales (CDP)  ( The Daily Telegraph, 21 January)

“Excluding higher-income families and those using services for non-work-related reasons’ from subsidised community-run centres… would achieve greater coverage of the government’s priority groups (low-income families and single parents) without as great a need to create new places.

The disadvantages of this option are it would be seen as harsh, would be disruptive for the children involved and would prejudice the advantage gained by targeted low-income families as their own access came under review.”

The Hawke Government (ALP) Cabinet papers 1988-1989 (released 1 January)

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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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