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Thursday, 25 November 1993
Page: 3678


Senator WEST (3.34 p.m.) —Again we have this beat-up by the opposition, reflected in its lack of understanding about the necessity within child-care areas for some form of accreditation. It is the desire of those who provide a child-care service and who actually feel the need to have professional standards within this industry.

  I have spoken to a number of people within the industry and a number of students who are doing the two-year associate diploma. They are astounded that anybody would not realise the need for a standard, the need for accreditation. What is within the accreditation is absolutely commonsense and essential in providing care to children. The industry was involved for a long time in this process. The private sector of the industry was also involved in the process. The only complaint I have had was from one group within the private sector who were complaining because their two representatives were not doing what the group thought they should have been doing.

  As for trucks and trains for boys and dolls for girls, when will the opposition realise that what is important for children is that they have access to choose what they play with, that there not be stereotyping whereby the boys will play with one thing and the girls will play with something else? It is essential that people realise that children have a vivid imagination and that they be allowed to fulfil and explore that imagination. That is all part of their growing up to be whole, good, complete, happy, well adjusted human beings. That is why we need to make sure that standards are involved and are upheld. These are the standards that the profession feels proud to uphold.

  Question resolved in the affirmative.