I was reading an article in the SMH about the large number of childcare centres missing targets on the road to the ridiculous new national regulatory framework. You know the one where toddlers must be instructed by some dim-witted graduate from a second rate university.
Sadly, for the dim-witted minister, Kate Ellis, the whole system is in considerable disarray, with child care fees soaring ($120 to $150 per day is now not uncommon in the larger cities) and parents cutting back hours. With the child care rebate frozen, parents are paying higher amounts out of their own pockets.
One of our relatives has children in childcare and she tells us that she is given a weekly newsletter informing her that the children are being taught about triangles and the colour orange this week. Thanks for that.
But here’s one of the quotes that particularly caught my eye – from the director of a complying centre.
“For the first time, all services are now being rated against the same seven quality areas, and this will ensure the consistency and quality of services provided to children and families across the country.”
So instead of diversity and choice, it is consistency across the country.
I guess it’s a bit like the National Plan for School Improvement.
Childcare is one area the Coalition has to sort out. The red tape burden on the sector is ridiculous and it is not obvious why centres should employ university graduates. We need greater choice, diversity and competition, not the Stalinist straight jacket that this government has chosen.
Perhaps we should require all new mothers to have a university degree in early childhood development?