Home' Belonging Early Years Journal : Vol 5 No 3 Contents 2 • BELONGING EARLY YEARS JOURNAL • VOLUME 5 NUMBER 3 • 2016
During this final quarter, the Australian Childcare
Alliance (ACA) has worked relentlessly to engage
with the federal government regarding our
recommendations to improve the Jobs for Families package
in supporting the continued provision of high-quality,
affordable, sustainable, and accessible early childhood
education and care (ECEC).
Unfortunately, the Senate did not have the opportunity
to table the Bill during the final sitting weeks of Parliament,
and the discussions surrounding the potential amendments
to the Bill will now have to wait until Parliament resumes in
Given that the government rebate for families using
ECEC services has not increased for almost nine years, with
the current CCR Cap of $7500 unchanged since 2008, it is
vitally important that this much-needed support for families is
implemented so that they can have some certainty around
the implementation of this much-needed relief.
Should it go ahead next year, the new Jobs for Families
package provides an opportunity to deliver greater financial
support to families that rely on ECEC services.
In addition to our recommendations about the amount of
access for children from low-income families and an increase
in the income threshold before the activity test must be
applied, the ACA has also proposed amendments in relation
to a six- week transition period when family circumstances
change, along with adequate access for Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) families.
SInce these issues affect over one million families across
the country, we would like to see an amended Jobs for
Families Bill passed in Parliament as soon as possible to
ensure that all Australian children have access to quality
and affordable ECEC services.
It is hoped that the new package will still be implemented
on the proposed July 2018 commencement date. The
ACA is encouraged by the positive conversations we had
with relevant individuals in federal government throughout
November regarding our recommendations.
The ACA will continue to engage with all parties, and
will call on the Members of Parliament to support the
ACA’s recommended amendments when Parliament
resumes in 2017.
This quarter brought about some big changes to the ACA
Executive Committee at the national level, with former ACA
President Gwynneth Bridge choosing to retire from the board
after nine years of dedicated service. Vice President Judith
Atkinson also chose not to renominate for her position as it
came to term in October.
Gwynn has been an outstanding, active member of state
and national long day care association committees in their
various forms for more than 20 years. She has built open,
effective, lasting partnerships with government stakeholders at
both federal and state levels, and she continued to advocate
relentlessly for family access to affordable, high-quality long
day care. We greatly appreciate her dedication, hard work
and enormous contribution to the ACA, and we wish Gwynn
all the very best in her new endeavours.
As Vice President, Judy worked alongside Gwynn, and
together they made an incredible team. Judith brought
a wealth of experience in the ECEC sector to the role. Her
expertise in the development of ECEC policy, along with her
industry experience, have contributed greatly to the ACA.
Gwynn remains on the Committee of ACA Queensland,
while Judith continues as an Executive Member of the ACA.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to
express my sincere thanks to our former President Gwynneth
Bridge, and Vice President Judith Atkinson.
Our new Executive Committee includes Nesha Hutchinson
as Vice President, Ann Marie Chemello as Secretary, Kerry
Mahony as Treasurer, and Judith Atkinson along with Jae
Fraser as Ordinary Members.
On a final note, as we approach the end of 2016 I would
like to invite our members across Australia to get involved
in a community fundraising initiative that the ACA is proud
to support. Project Rudolph is a joint initiative between
Aussie Farmers Direct and Australia’s largest hunger relief
The project aims to ease the stress for families under
financial strain this festive season by giving them fresh
ingredients for a family dinner – roast meat, vegetables and
I encourage members to support this worthy cause by
organising Christmas-themed fund raising activities in their
centres. It can be as simple as a donation box, or something
fun that gets the kids involved.
With the funds raised, the ACA will buy food hampers from
Aussie Farmers Direct. Our friends at Foodbank will then deliver
Project Rudolph boxes to eligible families across Australia in
the week before Christmas.
The project offers a wonderful teaching opportunity to
help young children to develop empathy and a desire to help
those less fortunate.
You can find out how your centre can get involved by
visiting the ACA website – www.childcarealliance.org.au.
We would greatly appreciate your support.
On behalf of the ACA, I would like to wish all of our
members a safe and relaxing Christmas break and a
peaceful and prosperous New Year. We look forward to
working with you in 2017.
Australian Childcare Alliance
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