Coalition divided on child care reforms
- Minister for Employment Participation
- Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis today said the recent splits in the Liberal Party’s position show they are divided and have no real plans to provide a quality child care system for Australian families.
“Our reforms have built a better quality child care system and helped families out by making child care more affordable so that more children can get the best start in life,” Minister Ellis said.
“The Coalition need to be clear with families – the wide differences between their positions is growing daily it is becoming clear the Coalition’s Shadow Minister does not have the backing of her Liberal Party backbenchers.
“While the Coalition’s shadow Minister is saying one thing, the Liberal’s are showing their true colours with Liberal backbenchers revealing their plans to roll back child care improvements.
“We are committed to continuing our work at lifting the quality of early childhood education and care so children are getting the best start.”
The Liberal Party’s position on the child care reforms:
Shadow Minister Sussan Ley said yesterday:
“Now, the Coalition do support the objectives of the national quality framework. We believe, we accept, that smaller teacher-to-child ratios lead to better-quality care for children.”
Parliament, 11 September 2012
Liberal Member for Higgins Kelly O’Dwyer said on Monday this week:
“The government decided to put in place a number of regulations based on nothing much in particular to increase the ratio from one to five to one to four, and it said that this would deliver better outcomes for our children. Yet there is no evidence to say this is the case.”
Parliament, 10 September 2012
Liberal Member for Aston Alan Tudge outlined his position on child care earlier this year:
Mr Tudge suggested child care quality improvements were 'for no discernable benefit' and called on the Australian Government to 'abandon this policy'.
Media Release, 13 February 2012
Evidence supporting the Australian Government’s reforms to child care:
The effects of childcare on child development (Melbourne Institute, July 2012:
“when there are more children per staff member, the positive effect of day care use is reduced”.
“...one extra child per staff member reduces the positive effect of day care on the socio-emotional index by 17%.”
Starting Strong III (OECD 2012):
“Higher staff- child ratios, referring to a smaller number of children per staff, are usually found to enhance ECEC quality and facilitate better developmental outcomes for children.”
“Anything less than a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio for children up to two years old is insufficient to allow staff to interact effectively with each child.”
“...the weight of evidence favours the conclusion that staff-child ratio is an ECEC setting is significantly associated with quality.”