I read this article yesterday in the Australian:
Maybe this should be under childcare, but I was just curious as to what people think of that ambition for our 3-5 year old children? I realise this proposal is to the productivity commission so I guess that means the focus is on getting more people into the workforce, but it still concerns me that this is another step towards formalising childhood. Improved quality and access to quality childcare is great, but I would hate my 3 year old to have a curriculum and set of learning expectations when she attends preschool (my youngest is 4 but this may impact my unborn). I remember this kind of thing was coming in in the UK when we left around 2008. DS goes to a lovely preschool where the entire focus is play. It's really good for him and he is so happy there. But DS who is 7 didn't enjoy preschool so much - she only went 2 days a week, which was enough, 30 hours a week would have been way too much for her. She wanted more time at home with me, it scares me that 30 hours a week of child care & education might become mandated in the future. Where is the research this would be good for children/families? I thought the best eduction systems were the scandinavian ones where children don't even start school until they are about 7?? Maybe since I've not gone back to work since DD was born I am totally out of touch with reality? Being out of the workforce for so long is making it hard for me to re-enter so I guess it would have been easier if my kids were gone for 30 hours a week from age 3, but would that really have been the best thing for them? I know lots of people have to work for financial reasons, or want to work for their own fulfilment/sanity! but 30 hours a week at age 3 just feels like a lot to aim for for everyone. And personally it worries me that formalising those years in any form of education will lead to learning expectations / targets instead of these early years being about play!
Is it just me that feels uncomfortable about this??
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26-01-2014 08:44 #1Senior Member
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A target of 30 hours of care per week for 3-5 year olds??
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26-01-2014 18:35 #2
The article is restricted content.
without knowing more detail it doesn't bother me as my kids will be in care more than 30 hours a week at that age anyway.
Comparing to Scandinavia isn't comparing like with like. Their society is so different to ours in so many ways. More people return to the workforce after having kids than in Oz, SAHP's are much rarer, therefore care is accessed by most parents anyway so they can work, and it's often free. So they might not start school until a year later but they are likely in formal care before that.
26-01-2014 18:44 #3Senior Member
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- Jan 2014
Is this the article you're referring to OP?
My youngest will be in care for at least 30 hours when she turns 3, but for those who aren't - I don't know if it's enough to build more quality centres to create more places - I think they'll have to make it affordable too. I imagine for many families, it's unaffordable to have their child in care 30 hours a week.
CHILDREN between three and five should be attending 30 hours a week of formal early childhood education and care, in line with the European Commission's "Barcelona Targets", according to the peak body.
Early Childhood Australia, in its submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Learning, will ask the commission to consider bold new access targets for early childhood education and care.
The targets would involve improving participation rates of children aged between three and five attending 30 hours a week to 90 per cent by 2020.
In the submission to the Productivity Commission, they say we would need to attract an extra 60,000 children into ECEC by 2020 to reach the target. That's potentially close to 1000 additional centres to meet new capacity.
ECA says Australia is understood to be falling behind many European countries in terms of access to ECEC, particularly comparable European countries in the OECD. Without increases in enrolment and attendance of children in formal education and care, Australia will continue to lag behind in building human capital, national productivity and women's workforce participation.
When combined with preschool figures, ECA estimates that under 80 per cent of Australian children aged three to five are enrolled in early childcare and preschool, with less attending for 30 hours a week, which they see as the next goal.
A national partnership agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education is in place to increase participation levels of children accessing early learning in the year before formal schooling.
This agreement is up for review this year.
"The states and territories have done a great job in achieving a number of the goals within the partnerships agreement," ECA chief executive Samantha Page told The Weekend Australian.
"This is the logical next step by enhancing the benefits from participation in early learning,"
"These are really ambitious targets - but the benefits are significant.
"To achieve 30 hours a week for children, we need to create places in areas of high demand. That's why we have proposed a capital grants scheme to encourage providers to build quality early learning centres in these areas.
"We also need to encourage families to use these services at a higher rate to ensure their children are getting the most out of their early childhood education," Ms Page said.
"The early years is when a child's brain is developing rapidly, and the evidence is clear that a quality early childhood education will have a long-term impact on a child's education and social performance.
"This is particularly crucial for children from disadvantaged families who continue to miss out on quality early learning and are suffering because of it."
Early childhood educator Katherine Vlasic, who works at Creative Play Early Learning Centre in Melbourne, said a quality education and care environment was fundamental to children's holistic development and wellbeing.
"Children's relationships and interactions with other children, families, educators and community all contribute to a sense of belonging within their environment, which is beneficial to children's overall education and care," she said.
Last edited by sky1; 26-01-2014 at 18:50.
26-01-2014 19:12 #4
Wow I'm aghast!! I firmly believe my 3yo DS is better off at home with me than in daycare 30 hours a week. Let little children be children.
26-01-2014 19:28 #5
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26-01-2014 19:46 #6
I couldnt imagine miss almost 3 in care 30 hours a week. I flip back and forth as to whether or not Im doing the right thing sending her to preschool two days as of next week. I am a SAHM at the moment so she doesnt require care, but I think she will love the extra stimulation and interaction with the other kids. I would hate to think that she had some sort of formal learning structure at this age.
Totally in love with our two beautiful little girls.
Feb 2011 and May 2013
26-01-2014 19:48 #7
I hate this idea. It is bad enough that we send our four years of to full time school.
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26-01-2014 19:51 #8
I think if the goal to increase the places by 60000 with 30 hours available, in order to increase workforce participation that is fine. In that, I think it is a real issue that some women want to work but are unable to do so because of unavailable or unaffordable childcare.
But I personally do not think that 30 hours of child care is needed for a 3 year old, my son goes two days a week ( I work part time) so would be there around 18 hours, that is plenty for both of us. I am an intelligent, educated woman, we do play dates, read books, he helps with things around the house, we access our community, he is learning plenty when he is with me, and most importantly he has freedom to be 3!
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26-01-2014 20:04 #9
Where are they going to get the staff for this??
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26-01-2014 20:56 #10
30 hours a week is a hell of a long time for a three year old to be away from their family/primary caregiver unless necessary, IMO. Obviously if parents have to work then it is unavoidable, but I don't think this is what we should be viewing as the 'ideal' for such little ones.
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