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Early learning sector pays tribute to Kate Ellis

Along with the usual mailbox detritus, residents of the Adelaide electorate received a surprising letter on Thursday 9 March 2017. It was from their local MP, and the shadow minster for early childhood education and development and TAFE and vocational education, Kate Ellis.

“I have made the decision that I will not stand as a candidate at the next federal election,” Ellis wrote. “The simple truth is that I just cannot bear the thought of spending at least 20 weeks of every year in Canberra away from him [her toddler son] and the rest of my family.”

Ellis leaves politics after an almost 10-year stint. In 2007, at age 29, she entered parliament and became youngest Australian government minister in history.

Early Childhood Australia chief executive Samantha Page noted Ellis’ contribution to the childcare sector. As minister for early childhood from 2010, Ellis oversaw the introduction of the National Quality Framework (NQF) in 2012.

Goodstart Early Learning chief executive Julia Davison also acknowledged Ellis’ involvement in raising childcare standards through the implementation of the NQF.

Davison further mentioned the shadow minister’s support for childcare workers’ wage increase campaigns.

“Kate’s commitment and determination to provide quality early learning for all children has made a world of difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of children,” she said. “We wish her well in whatever she does next.”

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