This issue explores a range of matters close to my heart, particularly those relating to sector growth and sustainability. The withdrawal of Australian government funding for professional training is now being felt throughout the community sector. Our recent member survey identified how important professional development is to service operations, and we are working tirelessly to build and deploy affordable training opportunities and a membership offer that will assist you in delivering quality early education and care. A significant component of this is to continue and strengthen our partnerships with other organisations to deliver better value and reduce confusion in the marketplace.
Of course, our activities are always wrapped around our commitment to advocate on behalf of children and families, knowing this is of prime concern and value to you all. Therefore, we will continue to raise our grave concerns about the impact of the Australian Government’s childcare package currently before parliament, particularly in relation to access for vulnerable children.
At a state level, we have been pleased with the impact of our advice in support of increased investment in NSW preschools, with Premier Mike Baird and Early Childhood Education Minister Leslie Williams announcing increased investment through Start Strong. I believe it is a positive step towards increasing access and affordability.
From 1 January 2017, the funding will help services enrol more four- and five-year-olds in 600 hours of quality early education in the year before school. We are also particularly pleased with the provision of a Safety Net, a commitment to ensuring a base operational subsidy for services where they are concerned about their viability and ability to provide access to children who might otherwise miss out on quality early education.
Additional funding has also been made available to target equity children and we hope the increased base rate will increase opportunities for services to provide access and quality early education to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in our community.
We acknowledge that words in a policy announcement can make the task ahead look easy and the solutions simple. We know this is never the case when working in the complex social services sector. We received many calls from directors in the 24 hours following the announcement. Some were ecstatic with the opportunity it affords, while others were understandably more cautious.
To address your questions, and in keeping with our commitment to explore productive partnerships, we are working with CCSA to develop an extensive range of supportive communications and resources to assist the sector and our members’ transition to the new funding requirements.
Contact us on 1800 157 818 to speak with our expert advisors or check out www.preschoolsnsw.org.au and sign up for the Start Strong e-hub.
Diane Lawson, CEO Community Child Care Co-operative (NSW)
- The Lowdown | Your guide to what’s up, who’s where, and how you can get involved.
- Win for the little guy | Meet the Canberra-based service that took on the government, and won.
- Premium services: At what cost? | What does the continued rise of premium care services mean for the sector?
- Face2Face | Get to know Diane Lawson, Community Child Care CEO, and her vision for the future.
- Pressure to perform | How services can push back against ‘push down’ curriculum.
- More bang for your PD buck | How to get the most from your professional development spend.
- Bookworm | We take a look what’s new on the shelves.
- Quality is key | More collaboration is needed from the sector to reduce mismatch between investment & opportunity.
- NEW! Pet Peeve | Readers have their chance to stand up and voice their concerns in a brand new section.
- NQS Spotlight | How to turn your physical environments into quality learning spaces.
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Rattler is the quarterly publication of Community Child Care and contains high-quality essays and articles about a wide range of social, economic, educational and political issues that affect the childcare industry, from both industry and human interest perspectives. The magazine publishes a range of opinions and offers a forum to stimulate professional development and discussion.
The Managing Editor is Eddy Jokovich. The members of the editorial committee are Diane Lawson, Nathalie Dupavillon, Marie Deverill, Camille Howard, Gerard Moon and Eddy Jokovich.
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Publication dates (to be used as a guide only)
Future editions of Rattler will be published on:
- Rattler 120 – Summer | Publication date: November 2016
- Rattler 121 – Autumn | Publication date: March 2017
- Rattler 122 – Winter | Publication date: June 2017
- Rattler 123 – Spring | Publication date: September 2017
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