Demand for childcare has soared over the past decade as Australian families seek to reconcile work and care responsibilities. But the cost of care keeps rising, waiting lists in many metropolitan centres are long, and high quality services are not always available.
Australia’s system of early childhood education and care is fragmented, and the major political parties have failed to take a comprehensive approach to policy development. So what would a good system of early childhood education and care in Australia look like?
In this book, a selection of Australia's leading early childhood researchers, teachers, advocates and social policy experts consider:
- The goals of a good national system
- How a high quality and equitable early childhood education and care system can be delivered.
- What makes quality care?
- Who should provide and who should pay?
- Training and professional development for workers
- Regulation and funding of services
The authors offer a comprehensive set of policy principles that would deliver a better early childhood education and care regime for Australian children and their families.
Alison Elliot is the Head of the School of Education at Charles Darwin University.
Barbara Pocock is professor emerita of business services at the University of South Australia.
Associate Professor Elizabeth Hill is a leading researcher on the future of women, work and care in Australia and the Asian region and has a strong history of research leadership in this field. She is founder and co-convenor of the Australian Work and Family Policy Roundtable and Deputy Director of the Gender Equality in Working Life (GEWL) Research Initiative at the University of Sydney. Elizabeth has extensive research experience on women’s working lives, including as Chief Investigator of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Women’s Working Futures Project.
Elizabeth Hill, Barbara Pocock and Alison Elliot
Part 1: defining a high quality ECEC system
1. The childcare policy challenge in Australia
Barbara Pocock and Elizabeth Hill
2. Lessons from the Swedish experience
3. Home and away: the policy context in Australia
4. The new discrimination and child care
Part 2: setting the goals for a national system
5. The goals of a good national system: placing priority on the wellbeing of children
6. Getting the basics right – goals that would deliver a good national children’s services system
Part 3: perceptions of child care
7. Contested, corporatised, and confused? Australian attitudes to child care
8. Employees’ views on quality
Part 4: the question of quality
9. Public investment, fragmentation and quality care – existing challenges and future options
10. Improving early childhood quality through standards, accreditation and registration
11. The determinants of quality care: review and research report
Part 5: who should pay? Who should provide?
12. Childcare provision: whose responsibility? Who pays?
13. Funding children’s services
Appendix 1: participants at ASSA workshop Child care: A better policy framework for Australia, University of Sydney, July 13–14, 2006
Size: 210 × 148 × 17 mm
30 b&w tables, 4 b&w illustrations, and 6 colour illustrations
Publication: 01 Jul 2007