ACA Queensland calls for both parties to prioritise children ahead of October election

ACA Queensland calls for both parties to prioritise children ahead of October election

by Freya Lucas

September 22, 2020

With Queenslanders set to head to the polls on Saturday 31 October, the Queensland branch of the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has called on all parties to commit to policies that prioritise the needs of 300,000 Queensland children and the early childhood educators who educate and care for them.

 

Using a non-partisan election policy manifesto “What Queensland parents want. What our children need”, ACA QLD has presented a list of options which it believes will: 

 

  • empower parents to choose which quality early learning (childcare) service they want their child to attend;
  • prioritise the educational needs of Queensland children;
  • reverse the trend of Queensland having the most developmentally vulnerable children in all of Australia;
  • offer certainty of employment for early childhood educators/teachers, particularly in regional Queensland;
  • avert an unnecessary increase in costs for parents or force them to withdraw their child from their quality early learning service;
  • create more financial headroom to allow early learning (childcare)services to employ more educators; and,
  • place the needs of parents ahead of the profits of property developers.

 

ACA QLD President Majella Fitzsimmons said early learning services had proved to be “the bedrock” of the Queensland economy, particularly during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“Our member services have successfully kept children in their education and care, safe and calm, whilst they continued to learn and develop,” Ms Fitzsimmons said. “With a third of our parents working in healthcare and emergency services, we ensured our early learning services remained open, even during the initial shock lockdown.”

 

A core element of the manifesto seeks to have the next Queensland Government extend universal funding (by five years) for all four year olds in Queensland kindergartens. 

 

Other ACA QLD policies, recommended to all parties, include extending the existing KindyLinQ pilot program to all early learning services, ending the current “unsafe and discriminatory practice of forcing disadvantaged children into state-based school facilities” and permanently waiving payroll tax for all educational services to allow the employment of more educators. 

 

Oversupply is also addressed in the manifesto, with ACA Qld calling for “proper planning oversight” to help reverse “the current oversupply crisis hitting the sector, to the detriment of all families”.

 

“On behalf of all Queensland families, we are committing cost effective policies for the next government to adopt,” Ms Fitzsimmons said. “These policies look beyond the current COVID-19 crisis, to build a stronger future for our families, the communities in which they live and the economy of the state.”

 

To access the manifesto, please see here

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