On childcare, we can’t ‘waste the crisis’ and go back to the old system

In a remarkable turn of events, yesterday Education Minister Dan Tehan urged the parents of Australia to send their little comrades to kindy.

Well, not quite.

But he did announce that all childcare – yes, essentially all — would be free from Sunday night onwards for the next three months, with the strong possibility that the new arrangements would remain in place for as long as six months.

During World War II in the United States, another time of great disruption when women were needed in manufacturing jobs as men were shipped off to the front, President Franklin Roosevelt funnelled funding from a wartime infrastructure bill to create and run a network of child-care centres. Without these, there would have been no Rosie the Riveter.

Unfortunately, President Harry S. Truman shut the childcare centres down shortly after Japan surrendered. And judging by Mr. Tehan’s interview on the ABC yesterday, he hopes to follow Truman’s lead. “We would love to be able to go back to the system we previously had in place,” he said.

To put it mildly, that would be a huge mistake.

Source: On childcare, we can’t ‘waste the crisis’ and go back to the old system

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