A new report by the United Workers Union that puts the spotlight on safety breaches in early childhood education and care services is sobering for parents and children and reiterates the need for reform.
The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said, “Every parent in Australia ought to be assured that whenever their child, or children, attends an early learning and care service, they are receiving high-quality early education and care, which safeguards their health and safety and promotes development.
“Out of pocket costs for early learning and care in Australia are among the highest in the world and a safe environment for their children is the least parents and children deserve.
“Every parent should be able to easily and readily assess the safety track record of any service and that’s not happening right now.
“The Parenthood welcomes calls to better inform parents of the safety compliance of services and more transparency on quality ratings and compliance from providers.”
Data analysed in the Unsafe and non-compliant: Profits above safety in Australia’s early learning sector report reveals 12,000 enforcement actions were taken since 2015 and three-quarters were against for-profit providers.
“This research is alarming for parents and children and more proof of the urgent need for early learning and childcare reform," Ms Dent said.
“We know high quality early learning gives children the best start in life. Children who attend high quality early childhood education and care in the year before school are considerably less likely to arrive at school developmentally vulnerable.
“Affordable, high-quality early learning also enables paid workforce participation for parents, contributing to family budgets, our society and economy.
“Early childhood educators need support to deliver quality care. The Federal government must respect educators and improve their wages and conditions.”
MEDIA CONTACT: For interviews with Executive Director Georgie Dent call 0400 437 434