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Homepublication-rattlerRattler 121, Autumn 2017

Rattler 121, Autumn 2017

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Rattler 121

Over the past several months, I have been engaged in many conversations about the importance of advocacy for the sector, which makes me wonder about the various interpretations of the term. For some it means protest marches, for others, submission writing or hashtags. I take a broad view that advocacy is any action that makes a meaningful contribution toward a change for the better.

The key word is ‘meaningful’. It’s easy to take utopian positions and call it advocacy, safe from any real test of your views in the public arena. It’s harder to find a path that is true to the values of a diverse membership organisation like Community Child Care Co-operative and that, in addition, has a real chance of success.

This is where we found ourselves over the Australian Government’s ‘Omnibus Bill’, which sought to make savage cuts to social welfare payments as payback for funding the long-awaited childcare subsidy reform and the NDIS.

Community Child Care took a new approach in the debate, joining with the 25 or so leading peak bodies and providers who have, in recent years, set aside their other differences to form a highly collegiate lobby group for the early childhood sector in national politics. The group includes Early Childhood Australia, Goodstart, KU Children’s Services, Australian Childcare Alliance, several Gowrie bodies, The Parenthood and Family Day Care Australia.

Our lobbying helped to split the bill from the cruelest cuts previously proposed and shut down the threats to cut educators’ qualification requirements, deregulate ratios and more. However, as Rattler was going to press, the Senate agreed to approve a flawed bill.

While devastated at the last-minute loss of support for 15 funded hours, and the barriers the activity test creates for 100,000 of Australia’s poorest families, Community Child Care remains within this collaborative group to share our best thinking for the way ahead.

Let’s not forget:

  • We won our ‘split the bill’ call and your grassroots support gave us an even stronger voice.
  • Most families—and many low-income families—gain more affordable early learning for their children.
  • We need to explore the ways vulnerable parents can meet the activity test, and help you find ways to advise parents who may otherwise be excluded.

It has always been too easy for governments to divide and conquer our sector, pitting community against for-profit, state versus state, long day care against preschools. To achieve meaningful change we must all mature and accept that while differences continue, we can also find common ground that benefits children, families and educators.

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.
  • Integration In Practice | The Infants’ Home shares the secrets to its award-winning integrated service approach.
  • Learning About Literacy | Educators play a critical role in supporting and extending children’s literacy learning.
  • Making Quality Meaningful | Critical reflection is vital to ensure continuous quality improvement.
  • Inspiration Noticeboard | Your quick-stop guide to inspirational practices from around the world.
  • Face2Face | Catch up with the trailblazing Shadow Minister for Human Services, Linda Burney.
  • Taking Risks | Claire Warden pushes educators to take more risks with their pedagogy.
  • NQS Spotlight | Mentoring and training are key at Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre.
  • Start Strong | The new funding model for NSW preschools is underway, and we take a look at the story so far...
  • Bookworm | Our review of what’s new on the shelves.
  • Broadside | Political news feature: big business taking over childcare.
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