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Childcare by the hour gets bad industry feedback

The childcare industry has responded negatively to the government’s recent announcement of charging childcare by the hour.

Whilst cross-bench Senator David Leyonhjelm says the initiative is a “small step in the right direction”, the childcare community begs to differ.

Independent Education Union general secretary John Quessy said the proposal should be dismissed. “The principal reason is that early childhood education and care is just that. It’s an education,” Quessy said. “It’s not a babysitting service. It’s not a hire by the hour.”

He also said the proposal shows “a complete lack of understanding of early learning” and that it would be an “administrative nightmare”.

One childhood educator contacted Early Learning Review and said the government’s new proposal could close many services. “This is a poorly thought out idea that isn’t supporting the best needs of the child,” the educator said. “Not only is it a damaging idea to our current model of early learning, but it could have devastating effect.” She also mentioned that services would be forced to tighten their options, which would only make childcare less affordable.

Another educator commenting on the issue said “it would undermine the professional value of our educators and educational programs”.

Quessy argued that long day care and preschool services provide children with the best start to life and that the government’s new proposal would undermine a child’s development. “Research shows us that qualified proper early education makes a huge difference,” he said. “I can approach teachers in secondary schools and they can identify the kids in their classes who went to long day care centres, preschools and the like, because they say that even at that stage they can notice the difference.”

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