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Quality counts: States stand behind Labor's early childhood education and care reforms



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KATE ELLIS MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD FEDERAL MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE

MEDIA RELEASE

QUALITY COUNTS: STATES STAND BEHIND LABOR’S EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE REFORMS

The Coalition’s plan to wind back early childhood education quality standards is in tatters today, after it was revealed State Governments do not support the Assistant Minister’s proposed higher educator-child ratios and reduced qualifications.

“The evidence is unequivocal - quality early childhood education and care sets children up for life,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis said.

“Research shows that brain development is concentrated in the first 5 years of life.”

“The days of viewing early childhood education and care as nothing more than babysitting are firmly behind us.”

“State Governments - both Labor and Liberal - know this”.

A report in The Australian newspaper today has confirmed that state Liberal Governments in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia are refusing to cooperate with the Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, in her attempts to cut quality standards. South Australia is also standing behind Labor’s quality reforms.

“Just two days before the election, the Coalition quietly released a policy to walk away from child care quality reforms, and scrap qualification requirements for early childhood educators,” Kate Ellis said.

“This is a deeply irresponsible position that puts at risk the educational attainment of the next generation of Australian children.”

“Just today, the COAG Reform Council has confirmed the importance of the early years in education”.

“By focusing on the quality of early childhood education and care in recent years, we have seen significant increases in Year Three literacy nationally.”

The Chairman of the COAG Reform Council, Professor Craven, has confirmed the importance of improving the quality of early childhood education and care.

"We can see, for example, improved results in literacy among the group of children who are now entering years like Year Three, who were the first beneficiaries of those COAG reforms and we can expect further improvements as time goes on," Professor Craven said.

“Ultimately, improvements to early childhood education and care will translate into better upper secondary, high school and adult literacy and numeracy outcomes,” Kate Ellis said.

“The Opposition will not stand by and see the biggest ever reforms to early childhood education and care trashed - they are too important.”

“Tony Abbott leads a Government that is only interested in tearing things down, no matter how much evidence there is to support them.”

WEDNESDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2013

MEDIA CONTACT: HANNAH MACLEOD 0437 526 210