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Reflections Magazine : Reflections Magazine Issue 53 Summer 2013
4 I recently had the pleasure of attending some activities as a part of Children’s Week at the end of October. It was great to meet so many families and people involved in the sector who were celebrating how play-based learning can help children learn through the choices they make, the games they create and interactions they have with each other and the educators around them. Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. Play can also expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning and children’s immersion in their play enables them to simply enjoy “being”. It is an essential part of any early learning programme. All children, regardless of their circumstances, deserve quality learning through play in a happy and safe environment supported by educators. When you consider that almost every child in Australia will attend some form of child care and early learning before starting school, this sector is critical to the life of every family. I appreciate how the sector plays an important role by developing programmes and activities to help children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they actively engage with people and objects. As the Assistant Minister for Education responsible for child care and early learning, I would like to see more families and children have access to quality child care that is affordable, accessible and flexible so that families can pursue employment opportunities knowing that they are able to meet their work and family obligations. The Government supports quality early learning under the National Quality Framework (NQF). However we remain concerned by reports that its implementation has caused administrative and staffing problems, which then may be passed on as cost increases for families. We will work closely with states and territories, and the sector, to improve the implementation of the NQF while always ensuring high quality child care and early learning is provided to Australian children. I believe we can achieve quality learning for our children without burdensome and unnecessary regulations that can take educators away from what they do best, caring for our children in a safe and challenging learning environment. I’m convinced that with a collaborative relationship between the Government, families, early childhood educators and the child care sector, we can make this happen. Among the Government’s first priorities is the Productivity Commission inquiry into how our child care and early learning system can be made more flexible, affordable and accessible, so we can make the best decisions about the future of the sector. This is a once in a generation opportunity. I encourage you to engage in this process and put forward your views and ideas on what the future of early learning and child care will look like. I will have more details on how you can engage in this Inquiry by the end of the year, so if this interests you please keep a check via my website- sussanley.com I appreciate the strong engagement I have received from the sector so far and I’m excited about what we can achieve together to improve outcomes for children, families and the whole sector. The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Education Message from Assistant Minister Sussan Ley reflections.issue53_Layout 1 11/11/13 2:26 PM Page 4
Reflections Magazine Issue 52
Reflections Magazine Issue 54