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Why is childcare such a hard sell in the federal election?

Stacey Fox and Megan O’Connell write in The Conversation (25.5.16) about the ambiguous policy positions of both major political parties in regards to early years education and childcare services, which they argue are critical platforms for children’s later learning at school.

‘Spending on early years education seems to be a tough sell for politicians.

‘A significant number of Australians, both politicians and voters, see “childcare” as a service to help parents get back to work, despite growing recognition that early education is important for children’s learning and development.

‘The discussion tends to focus on household budgets and the ability of mum (mostly) to go back to work.

‘While these are important issues that families face every day, we don’t treat school in this manner – we don’t make decisions about whether children can go to school based on how much their parents work and earn and, likewise, this shouldn’t factor into decisions about young children accessing quality early learning.’

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