United Voice, the early childhood union, calls on the Government to reject the recommendations outlined in the Effect of red tape on child care report, tabled yesterday by the Select Committee on Red Tape.
The recommendations further demonstrate this Government’s obsession with undermining quality early childhood education and care. The report calls for a reduction in child/educator ratios and attacks the need for formal qualifications.
Helen Gibbons, Assistant National Secretary of United Voice, says, “This report shows nothing more than this Committee’s ideological obsession with destroying quality early childhood education and care.
“This Select Committee is wildly out of touch with the needs of parents and children across Australia. It is universally accepted that quality early learning has tremendous benefits for children during their early years of critical brain development. Educators, parents and clever governments around the world recognise this – but not the conservative members of the Committee. What these out of touch senators see as ‘red tape’, experts see as quality assurance and world class education policy.
“Liberal Senators James Paterson and Slade Brockman sat on this Committee and did not once stand to protect the quality early learning that modern working Australian families need. The Government isn’t listening to educators or parents.
“Privileged male senators like James Paterson, Slade Brockman, David Leyonhjelm, and Fraser Anning don’t understand the reality of modern working families and the reassurance qualifications and ratios offer parents, not to mention the benefits Australian children gain from these quality measures.
“Early education is about engaging children in one-on-one stimulating interactions and curriculum. There is good reason why one educator should only be responsible for four 2-year olds at one time. They just don’t get it.
“Australia is a wealthy country that can afford to deliver a world-class early learning system to parents and children. “To suggest that state and territory governments recognise that formal qualifications are not a prerequisite for the provision of high-quality childcare is nonsensical. Quality early childhood education and care requires a qualified and skilled workforce to deliver it. The National Quality Framework (NQF) is internationally recognised and that is exactly what this committee is attacking. Educators will defend the NQF.
“We note that Labor Senator Murray Watt was on the committee and disagreed with the recommendations. His comments reflect those of a Labor party committed to defending high quality education.
“The ball is in the Government’s court. They can choose to stand up for modern working families and quality early education and care and reject this attack on the sector and families. Australian families need to be vigilant about conservative attacks on early childhood education.”
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