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Child care sector encouraged to implement Governments early childhood reforms.



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The Hon Maxine McKew MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care 25 November, 2008

Media Release

Child care sector encouraged to implement Governments early childhood reforms

The Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care, Maxine McKew, today called on

the Professional Support Coordinators Alliance to take a leading role in helping the sector understand and

implement the Australian Government’s child care reforms.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting with the Professional Support Coordinators’ Alliance, Ms McKew outlined the

Government’s early childhood education and child care reforms and the pivotal role the Alliance can play in

supporting their implementation.

“The Australian Government is committed to building a high quality, affordable and accessible early

childhood education and child care system.”

“At present, the system is fragmented with different licensing systems in every state and territory, and a

national accreditation system with different standards for different types of settings and services,” Ms McKew

said.

Since its election, the Rudd Government has been working on improving the quality and consistency of care

and learning across all early childhood services and increasing the number and qualifications of the early

childhood workforce.

Throughout the year the Government has consulted widely with the child care sector, early childhood

teachers, parents, academics and other experts in relation to the National Quality Framework.

These consultations are informing the development of the quality framework and 2009 will see the trialling,

validation and implementation of the National Quality Framework, including the Standards, Rating System,

integrated regulatory arrangements and Early Years Learning Framework.

The Government understands that it will not be able to deliver these reform initiatives without significantly

investing in the early childhood workforce.

In the 08-09 Budget, the Rudd Government committed $126.6 million to deliver workforce initiatives that will

increase the numbers of early childhood professionals, provide workers with opportunities to upgrade their

qualifications and create incentives for early childhood teachers to work in areas of disadvantage.

Ms McKew said the Professional Support Coordinators are a Government initiative that supports child care

services by providing early childhood workers with professional development opportunities to ensure that

young children are cared for and taught by well-regarded and well-trained professionals.

“The Government has formulated a vision for early childhood education and care that resonates with the

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sector and the Alliance has a significant leadership role in assisting child care services understand and

embrace the new system,” said Ms McKew.

The Commonwealth Government is investing $2.4 billion over five years to deliver:

z assistance to working families meet higher costs of living by increasing the Child Care Tax Rebate

(CCTR) from 30% to 50% of out of pocket costs to a maximum of $7,500. The rebate will now also be

paid quarterly and is not means tested. z Universal access to 15 hours-a-week, 40 weeks-a-year of affordable, quality early learning programs,

delivered by a four-year university-trained teacher, for all Australian children in the year before school. z A National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care including National Quality

Standards, a ratings system, an Early Years Learning Framework and streamlined accreditation and

licensing. z Initiatives to increase the supply and upgrade the skills and qualifications of the early years workforce.

Media Contact:

media@deewr.gov.au

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