Radical childcare plans

Labor is planning some radical reforms to childcare if it wins the next election:

ALL childcare providers – including family daycare mums at home – would provide an early childhood learning program under a Labor plan to switch childcare from babysitting to education.

Opposition education spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said the party wanted to ensure children began an education in all the places they received care, including family daycare schemes in the homes of women who look after small groups of children.

“There’s a massive variation in the provision of preschool education provided by the states and I certainly do want to make sure that every child, no matter the setting, is going to get the highest quality early childhood start,” Ms Macklin told The Australian yesterday.

Of course, it would have to be paid for but then again there is no such thing as investing in our children without paying.

There will be detractors but they will come around. For instance, Tim Dunlop at first worries that this is all too big brother before coming around to the idea that that is what government policies are all about in this area. Moreover, in this case, it is predicated on sound economic analysis and study. This same solid foundation could fruitfully be extended elsewhere. Let’s see what Labor can do.

One thought on “Radical childcare plans”

  1. It’s classic half-arsed Aussie policymaking. Read a few US studies (Perry, Abecedarian & ETP are good, but they are boutique programs), don’t do any real Australian research, then spend billions rolling out the program nationwide.

    There must be a dozen Aussie reports summarising the US studies, but no-one’s got the political guts to run a small-scale randomised trial. My guess is that this stuff would be as effective in Australia as in the US, but I wouldn’t go spending your hard-earned tax dollars on it without a skerrick of local proof.

    My rant here:
    http://econrsss.anu.edu.au/~aleigh/opinion_fulltext2.htm#EarlyChildhood

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