Word by word – November 2014

Early Childhood Quotes of the month from Parliament and the press.

“Thousands of families use both formal and informal in-home care options everyday and that number continues to grow because the current formal regulated childcare system just isn’t meeting their needs.

If certain states and territories have concerns about the impacts of regulating in-home care, then the [NQF] review of childcare regulations is the perfect opportunity to seek the advice of those at the coalface.”

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Minister for Education (LP) (Fairfax, November 3)

“Our children are now ‘techsperts’ from early on, particularly with the vast array of interactive early education applications and games that are now available at their fingertips.

This play-based approach is therefore a fun and easy way to get our kids interested in learning skills for life, such as a language other than English, from early on in their education journey.”

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Minister for Education (LP) (7 News, November 8)

“Embedded work experience is a key feature of improving quality so you don’t get providers who are fly-by-night or providing ­incredibly substandard courses’’

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP, Assistant Minister for Education (LP) (The Australian, November 10)

“Delivering on this commitment will bring more than 100 million additional women into the labour force across G20 economies… The OECD estimates a boost to women’s participation of this scale would increase the G20’s GDP by between 1.2 and 1.6 per cent by 2025, adding more than $1 trillion to the global economy. The actions G20 leaders will take will vary from country to country but could include improving access to education and child care, expanding maternity leave options, fostering female entrepreneurs, improving financial literacy and better access to business finance. I believe that we will all look back on 2014 as a pivotal year in the G20.”

The Hon. Senator Michaela Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women (LP) (Hansard, 17 November)

“Now, in preschool and kindergarten, they [The Government] want to dictate new terms and conditions around that funding without providing any additional funds. That means that right now, in a number of states, we know that next year governments will be trying to split the same amount of funding amongst more centres or more children. That equates to a real cut in preschool and kindergarten funding facing Australia from next year.”

The Hon. Kate Ellis MP (ALP), Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood (Hansard, 24 November)

“Just going back a step as to why early childhood learning is important, we have heard a lot of reports and evidence and it is fairly conclusive. Recently there was a study by the University of London and the University of Oxford on influences of student’s development from ages 11 to 14 and how high-quality preschool shows beneficial outcomes 10 years after their experiences in early years—in particular, better results in maths, science and English and better social behaviour at age 14. We have also heard, in such studies, of students who succeeded against the odds who were helped by parents, friends and, importantly, their communities—and through this they had installed higher aspirations.”

Matt Williams MP (LP), Member for Hindmarsh (Hansard, 24 November)

“The decision by all jurisdictions to agree on the 15 hours of early childhood education in the year before school was made in reliance on a study called ‘Effective Provision of Preschool Education,’ which found that attending preschool for 15 hours a week had significant positive gains in cognitive development. An Oxford University study has been tracking the progress of 3,000 English children since 1997, which found that up to two years of quality preschool was pushing up school test scores for 16-year-olds by 51 points.”

Terri Butler MP (ALP), Member for Griffith (Hansard, 24 November)

“The member for Adelaide’s motion says that the proportion of children attending 15 hours of kindergarten per week has increased from 12 per cent in 2008 to 56 per cent in 2012. This is hardly surprising, given that the government mandated the increase. However, this figure alone is not proof of the merit of the change, nor does it necessarily justify the return on taxpayers’ increased investment.”

Kelly O’Dwyer MP (LP), Member for Higgins (Hansard, 24 November)

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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