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Pre-School Education



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, ■ ■ ‘ A- c 74/10 . ‘18 January „1974iQ.C., M.P.PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATIONIt is important to co-ordinate the objectives of pre­school education with the demands of child care, Senator Rae, the Liberal spokesman on education, said today in a joint statement released with Mr. Snedden,The Liberal Party is concerned that pre-school education and child care be community-based, and be responsive to the needs of the community.Pre-school education has served in the past as an introductory educational experience for a relatively small number of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years„With the increasing number of women working, full day child care had become more important. Unlike the pre-school centre, day care centres accept children under three years, provide at least a ninehour service and have both a custodial and educational element. IE1Lr-unJ Θ I .. I

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The Labor Party appears incoherent in its objectives.

They suggest that every child be given one year of pre-school education and couple it with the proposition that day care be provided for children of working mothers and underprivileged families, ^Ef each of these is a separate entity, then each has to have a

priority set by the government because a day pre-school programme involves the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars,

Child care is inevitably part of the total educational process, There would appear to be two major options available - (i) the establishment of pre-school care and education centres as a centralised facility, or (ii), the establishment of family day

care programmes which are decentralised concentrating on care and have an informal education programme,

The Liberal Party will investigate standards and design of such centres in order to ascertain whether the child care centre of about sixty children with traditional standards is the optimal one.

The Liberal Party will consider an expanded in-service training programme to provide the practical experience necessary and to defray the cost of the scheme.

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The Liberal Party believes that children of the less-

privileged, children of those who need to work for socio-economic

reasons, and children of single parents of either sex should be subsidised.

The Liberal Party would investigate methods of providing capital assistance to all sectors of the child care field whether by grants or long-term loans.

The Liberal Party believes the national association representing privately-run centres be involved in discussion.

The private sector serves a large number of communities, especially in the outer suburbs and their experiences and opinions should be Actively sought.

Parent involvement in the establishment and maintenance of child care centres is essential. The use of co-operatives with parents as the directors would achieve more child care facilities, more cheaply and maintain parent involvement in all

sectors of child welfare and education.

The Liberal Party would ensure that these programmes were co-ordinated within each community and encourage where practicable sharing of resources by the private, co-operative and

public sector of the pre-school programme.

The Liberal Party would consult and co-operate with

J^e States in any expansion and co-ordination of programmes throughout Australia. This would enable the programme to increase,

having regard to the community's needs and priorities.