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Policy backflip: Union fight stops lower school start age

Children's Services

On the back of United Voice polling released on Saturday that clearly showed overwhelming lack of support for the early school starting age policy, the Tasmanian Minister for Education has finally dumped the controversial policy. The backflip is the best outcome for Tasmania’s early childhood educators, they can continue to provide Tasmania’s young children with best practice education and jobs in the sector will be saved.

Janette Armstrong, Secretary of United Voice, the early childhood union, says, “We welcome this monumental but important policy backflip, and are proud of the campaign our union has run to defend early childhood, proper policy, and the child care sector. We are so pleased that the voices of reason have prevailed.

“It’s no surprise that the backflip came hot on the heels of the EMRS poll commissioned by United Voice and released on the weekend, the poll found 76 per cent of respondents were opposed to the plan, with many respondents saying they were less likely to vote for the Liberal party because of it.

“Lowering the school start age was contrary to best practice educational research and recommendations.

It was not in the best interest of children, and it would have had devastating impacts on our rural and regional communities in particular.

“Educators have won jobs they can count on and a more suitable early education approach for children.

“We hope this government and all future governments will now take the Early Childhood Education and Care sector more seriously. Governments must value our early childhood education sector and not take it for granted.”