NFP Voice Added to Ministerial Advisory Council on Child Care
31 July 2014 at 9:59 am
Three representatives of Australia’s Not for Profit community-owned education and care services have been appointed to the newly established Ministerial Advisory Council on Child Care and Early Learning.
These include the Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS) National Convenor Prue Warrilow, Chief Executive Officer, KU Children’s Services Christine Legg and Vice Chairperson, National Association of Mobile Services for Rural and Remote Families and Children, Robyn Paterson.
Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley announced the establishment of the Ministerial Advisory Council for Child Care and Early Learning on Tuesday.
The Council is chaired by the Assistant Minister for Education and co-chaired by former Commonwealth Department Secretary, Dr Jeff Harmer.
Minister Ley said the Council includes members representing a range of perspectives from across the childcare and early learning sector.
“The Council provides a forum where strategic policies affecting the childcare and early learning sector can be considered, and where informative consultation with the sector can take place.”
Not for Profit representative Prue Warrilow said the Advisory Council was a great opportunity to ensure that the voices of community owned children's services were heard.
“The appointment of the Ministerial Advisory Council comes at a pivotal time for education and care in Australia.
“The Productivity Commission has recently released its draft Child Care and Early Learning Report that proposes significant changes to the way education and care is delivered and funded.
“ACCS views aspects of the report as progressive and welcomes the recommendation to maintain the National Quality Framework but believes the Commission is wrong in its recommendations in some key areas,” Warrilow said.
ACCS said these include:
- Allowing services to temporarily operate with staffing levels below required ratios (by averaging over a day or a week).
- Requiring educators working with children under 3 to only hold a certificate III level qualification – no Diplomas required.
- Removing eligibility of Not for Profit providers to payroll tax and Fringe Benefit Tax exemptions.
- Removing preschools from the scope of the NQF.
- Funding arrangements that would result in reduced access and financial support for many vulnerable families and children and for families in crisis.
Warrilow said the implementation of these recommendations would not be in the interests of children and their right to access quality community managed education and care.
She said she was pleased to have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion and consideration of these issues as part the Ministerial Advisory Council.
The Council is set to meet three times per year. Further information about the Council is available from the Council page.