Word by word – October 2014

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

“What started in this place as a lone voice calling for us to focus on zero- to five-year-old children and battle against vulnerability is now growing in momentum. This year we formed the Parliamentary Friends of Early Childhood group, which identifies the important role of policy in the zero to five space. Why are we doing it? Because society’s long-term economic benefit lies in our ability to maximise social development, and from social development comes, obviously, physical and economic capital.”

Andrew Laming MP (LNP), Member for Bowman (Hansard, 30 October)

“Formal child care plays a significant role in our communities by providing the quality of care and education that is crucial for our children’s development.”

Cathy McGowan MP (Independent), Member for Indi (Hansard, 27 October).

“Family day care is an important part of the childcare apparatus in this country. It supports over 98,000 families, helps 165,000 children and employs more than 25,000 educators. This cut places severe pressure on the sector. Coalition speakers after me will argue one of two excuses for their actions. They will either claim that this action was necessary to stop examples of rorting by family day care providers or they will claim that it is not a cut; it is just a change in the eligibility, to better target the service. Neither excuse stacks up. Neither excuse is reasonable or believable. Both are pathetic justifications for a mean-spirited and counterproductive cut.”

Pat Conroy MP (ALP), Member for Charlton (Hansard, 20 October)

“No government program has a limitless bucket of available funding. There must be accountability. This is especially relevant for regional child care, the original catalyst for family day care funding. Since 2011, there has been a massive growth in family day care, but most this has been in metropolitan areas.”

Ann Sudmalis MP (LP) Member for Gilmore (Hansard, 20 October)

“Family day care presently offers quality, flexible early childhood education where it is needed most. The $157 million cut in funding is putting hundreds of services at risk of closure or forcing them to increase fees and pushing families away.”

Andrew Giles MP (ALP) Member for Scullin (Hansard, 20 October)

“Obviously the budget will be a crucial time for new reforms.”

The Hon. Sussan Ley MP (LP) Assistant Minister for Education (SMH, 30 October)

“This is really high stakes, and there is nothing to gain from the government keeping this [Productivity Commission] report a secret.”

The Hon. Kate Ellis MP (ALP) Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood (SMH, 30 October)

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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