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Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Page: 5164


Senator FARRELL (South AustraliaParliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water) (13:02): In summing up the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Child Care Budget Measures) Bill 2011, the Labor government and, in particular, Minister Ellis recognise the critical importance of early education and care to families. We know that access to quality and affordable childcare is an essential enabler of workforce participation, particularly for women.

We know that the first five years of a child's life are critical and that their experiences during this time will shape their future outcomes. Through high-quality, early education and care we have the ability to ensure that our youngest citizens get the great start in life that they deserve. This is why our government have driven an ambitious reform agenda to improve access to child care and to provide quality, affordable care, an agenda that we have backed by a record investment of $20 billion over the next four years. I conclude by thanking all senators for their contributions to the debate on this bill.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a second time.