Early childhood experts have today raised serious concerns about the long-term impact of the Government’s child care changes, warning that instead of catching up with other countries on child development policies, Australia risked falling behind.
Experts are concerned that while all children have access to subsidised early education for two days a week under the current system, the Government’s proposed new access rules will halve this for many children and force others out of the system entirely:
‘‘This seems to me a really retrograde step”
“The country as a whole is going to pay the cost of this in future years” [Prof. Edward Melhuish, SMH, 8 JUNE 2015]
In addition, University of Toronto professor Charles Pascal said that focusing on parent’s workforce participation at the expense of children’s development was “half-loaf” policy.
This will have the biggest impact on vulnerable and disadvantaged children, who have the most to gain from early education.
It’s time Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison listened to the experts and got the balance right between early education and supporting parents to work – it’s not a case of either-or.
Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison must come clean about how many families will miss out under their child care changes.
Labor has been asking for this information for months, but the Government has refused to provide it.
Analysis by Goodstart Early Learning shows as many as 100,000 children will be worse off.
Early education is incredibly important, it amplifies children’s development, and sets them up for school and life.
Across the world, smart countries are making early education a priority: Tony Abbott and Scot Morrison need to do the same.
MONDAY, 8 JUNE 2015