Submission: Senate Select Committee on Work and CareThu, 09/01/2022 - 12:49
The capacity for parents to work is highly dependent on whether they can access education and care for their children. Families need to be able to access quality education and care in their local communities, and that suits their hours of work. Not all families can access education and care services. Families in some locations, particularly those in lower socio-economic areas and rural and regional areas, have limited access to education and care.
Our education and care system is built on a quality framework that provides parents with assurance of the safety and quality of service provision. Despite workforce shortages it is imperative that this system remains so that children’s safety and learning and development is not adversely affected. Research demonstrates that low-quality education and care can negatively impact children’s longer-term outcomes.
Current ratios are in place so that children receive high-quality education and care. Current ratios also mean that staff are given adequate support, work hours, and workloads. Maintaining ratios is essential to both child wellbeing and staff job retention.