If Scott Morrison is serious about boosting Australia's economic productivity, his families package simply can't ignore the immense benefits of quality early education and care.
Two weeks ago Scott Morrison proclaimed he was:
“not the Minister for Early Childhood Education Development” [Scott Morrison, Early Childhood Australia Forum, 16 April 2015]
Yesterday he proved this, confirming the Government will pursue measures changing access to child care, which the early childhood sector has said will lock-out as many as 100,000 families.
Labor wants families to be empowered to return to work and children to be able to access the quality early childhood education which is so vital to their development. It shouldn't be an either-or proposition.
The reality is, if the Abbott Government wants the best for Australia's economy, making sure families have access to early childhood education is a no-brainer.
A recent study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers found the economic benefits from investment in quality early education and care would exceed the benefits of parents’ increased workforce participation - boosting the economy by $23.6 billion by 2050.
The report found the key to unlocking these benefits was a continued focus on quality and an increase in access for disadvantaged and vulnerable children - the very same children that could be impacted by restrictions on child care access.
Australia can't afford to ignore this. Here's hoping the Government's child care changes don't ignore it either.
SATURDAY, 2 MAY 2015