When selling this year’s budget the Federal Government used its early childhood funding announcement as the main plank of its media campaign, garnering photo opportunities for its politicians with cute babies.
But there’s smoke and mirrors at play here. The emphasis on ‘childcare’ as an economic tool to encourage women back into the workforce actually demeans the role of early childhood education and its teachers.
In our feature story on page 6 well known Early Childhood Consultant Lisa Bryant analyses what the budget really means for you, your family and the children in your care.
Time and again research has shown the importance of early childhood education in children’s lives, yet this message keeps getting missed. In the long run, investing in teachers and early childhood education will benefit the economy, because a good start in life reduces social problems down the track. A good early childhood education means people are less likely to be involved in crime, drugs and other social ills.
But that advantage would require politicians taking a long-range view, and they are not renowned for that skill.
So the fight goes on, and early childhood teachers and the IEU will continue to lobby for better recognition and financial support for the sector.
Lack of understanding in the sector by the NSW Government is also highlighted in our story on page 16, Business health check fails to ease ailments, which shows how the NSW Government has misunderstood the needs of preschools.
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