Last year ACE, this year ECE.
What has this government got against education? Once again it’s the big loser in a National budget. It’s enough to make you believe a conspiracy theory that they want to keep us ignorant so we’ll be more likely to vote them in…
The massive cut in Early Childhood Education is going to have a devastating impact on parents of young children, and the academic performance of the children of middle and low income earners. The cut in ACE stopped adults getting a second chance, but this cuts away at pre-schoolers before they even get their first.
Pre-school education is an important indicator in how well children will do at primary and secondary school. It’s obvious: the kid who knows how to read when they turn up at the school gates has a massive head-start on the one that doesn’t. And now many poorer families will be opting out of ECE as it’s too expensive. They’ll either load the kids around to Auntie’s or Granny’s place, or put them in a cheaper daycare where, without teachers, the kids play but don’t learn.
Childcare owners are now in an invidious position: they’ll need to put their prices up massively to cover the $400 million shortfall, and have parents pulling their children out. Either that, or sack those staff they’ve helped through training to replace them with unskilled staff, and see the quality of their care plummet.
As someone with a 2-year-old, seeing the directed play at their ECE centre that helps them learn to count and develop language skills etc is very reassuring that my child will get the best start in life. I worry for those who will now miss out.
This government seems to think education is unimportant; that having a skilled workforce isn’t how to get higher-earning jobs for this country. No, we can afford to slash education and R&D spending because National’s big idea is to dig stuff out of the ground and let Australian companies make money out of it – that’ll help close the wage gap.