Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Australia Is Years 'Behind the Times' on Child Care

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Australia Is Years 'Behind the Times' on Child Care

Article excerpt

THE Abbott government's $3.5billion childcare package treats the education of Australia's young children as "babysitting", a new report has claimed.

The McKell Institute report has found "serious flaws" in the package, which focuses on getting mothers back into work rather than ensuring children get the best possible early education.

Report co-author UNSW Professor Deborah Brennan said the package reflected a "philosophy that is decades out of date".

She said Australia has "missed the memo" that childcare was not simply child minding, but a vital part of education.

"The government's new policy treats childcare as a regrettable necessity, required mainly to get women back into the workforce," she said.

"Globally, however, early childhood education and care is seen as critical not just in promoting workforce participation, but in creating foundations for learning.

"It's seen as a means of boosting the capacity of the rising generation to contribute to national prosperity, and creating happy lives for the children of today. …

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