Deputy Speaker, the childcare sector is fundamental to nurturing the potential of our children and that is why I rise today, to move a motion which recognises the support our Government has provided to this sector.
Our Government is making a real difference to the lives of families across the country.
Even during the pandemic, our support to has continued to be unwavering.
Our Government has remained committed to keeping the childcare sector open and staff employed.
200,000 early childhood educators and teachers in Australia have been able to keep their job.
And around 6,200 services in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT have received $234 million in payments to date.
This is on top of our Government’s continued flow of the Child Care Subsidy.
And just last month, we announced our increased Child Care Subsidy for multiple children has been brought forward four months earlier than first expected.
It’s certainly been a challenging time, but it couldn’t be clearer how important this sector is to Australian families, parent workforce participation and our economy.
And Deputy Speaker, I am seeing our Government deliver for this sector across my electorate of Bonner.
I am regularly visiting our local childcare centres and kindergartens, spending time with the staff and children and learning about what we can do to support them.
These are always heart-warming visits as not only am I able to see the widespread benefits of our Government’s funding in this space, but I am also able to recognise the dedicated staff who do an incredible job at supporting our children’s passion for learning.
During these visits, a guaranteed crowd pleaser is reading to the children and my book of choice is ‘If I Was Prime Minister’ by Beck and Robin Feiner.
Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces is priceless and makes it especially worthwhile to also donate the book to these centres.
Last month, I donated this book to the vibrant Kindergarten class at C&K St Catherine’s Community Kindergarten in Wishart.
Deputy Speaker, the children loved the book so much that they created and sent me their own version which told the story of what they would do if they were Prime Minister.
Some said they would save the animals, help people and take care of our environment.
At a very young age, these children already have amazing hearts for making a difference and it is their family members and educators who are playing key roles in this.
Pulling this book together was a truly tremendous effort by the kindergarten class and staff at C&K St Catherine’s.
It’s a book I’ve now shared with my family and even with other members of the house deputy speaker.
And Deputy Speaker, this is just one example of many.
Time and time again I hear the overwhelming support from local centres for our Governments funding.
During this year’s Federal Budget, we announced the investment of a further $1.7 billion into childcare to increase its affordability and give parents the choice to take on extra work.
I caught up with Tingalpa’s Lead Childcare centre manager Krissy who was very pleased with this announcement.
As someone with extensive experience in this sector, it was especially meaningful to hear her positive feedback.
Because Deputy Speaker, supporting our children to engage in early education are the fundamental building blocks to ensuring they are best prepared to start school.
During Early Learning Matters Week which fell a couple of months ago, I visited Green Eggs Early Childhood Centre in Mansfield and Mother Duck Child Care Centre in Manly.
Two fantastic local centres that are fostering inclusive spaces for children to grow into confident and enthusiastic learners.
These visits were an opportunity for me to personally thank the staff for the high-quality early education and care they provide.
When I asked Mother Duck Child Care Centre Nominated Supervisor Kate why being an early educator matters to her, she said that children need strong role models both at home and in their everyday lives.
And educators play a special role in guiding them on the value of early education right from the very start.
So, Deputy Speaker, today I am shining a light on how our Government continues to reach new heights in our support of the childcare sector.
But most importantly, I am taking this opportunity to recognise the hardworking early educators who make a real difference to the lives of our children across the country, helping them to see the fun in learning.
To all our early educators, I say thank you.