We were thrilled to partner with ECA, SNAICC and Thrive By Five to advocate on behalf of the Early Childhood Education and Care sector at the Election Forum on Monday night. We had the opportunity to engage with the Hon Stuart Robert MP, Acting Minister for Education and Youth, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Shadow Minister for Youth, NSW Senator Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens spokesperson for Education, NSW Senate Candidate and Jane Caro AM, Reason Party.
We covered issues including funding policies, inclusion, workforce shortages, pay parity, the National Quality Framework, service viability, accessibility for children in rural and remote communities, targeted support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and parental leave, along with other issues. Each of the panel members had a chance to respond and also to state their priorities.
There certainly was a mix of responses and we welcome some of the innovative and proactive thinking. We also believe that some of the issues require deeper thinking to achieve long term outcomes and a targeted strategy that is not solely based on workforce and employment for parents, rather a policy that is based on the premise that every child has a right to education delivered by an appropriate qualified teacher. With the Federal election this month we are ensuring early childhood education is at the forefront of each political party’s minds and policies.