Still campaigning on childcare
A Council is threatening to close down a childcare centre; a federal election is ignoring childcare; private operators have the ear of the government over parents; three tiers of government and no clear responsibility for childcare... sounds like 2006 State election when I first campaigned on childcare for The Greens after convincing the City of Melbourne not to opt out of childcare. But it is 2010 and not much has changed.
We have welcomed quality reforms and new standards. And 38 or so of the 260 childcare centres promised in 2007 have been built, but the rest gives a great weighty sense of déjà vu.
Today I attended a forum on Early Childhood Education and care run by Sue Plowright – Greens candidate for Melbourne Ports. A new national model for the delivery of childcare is needed... and has been needed for over 30 years. There was an academic present today who remembers carrying her daughter to a childcare rally. Her daughter is now in her 30s.
We talked about how childcare centres become a family’s ‘village’ – an extended setting of care for a child that is a healthy replacement for the ‘village’ provided quality is high and places can be found. This election, we haven’t heard enough about reforming the delivery of childcare. Let’s try the State election.