The Education and Care Services National Act

04 Apr

Article from The Australian here.

I had to check the date on that article – it is 4 April, not 1 April.

The act has been passed in Victoria, which is the host jurisdiction, and it’ll be rolled out to be passed in other states. Whether it’s done in the Territory, I don’t know. The problem with parts of this is the open-endedness of its directions which will undoubtedly be tested in cases.

Now, this isn’t a toothless law. There are fines in the thousands of dollars for breaches of the Act.

Children cannot be “required to undertake activities that are inappropriate, having regard to each family’s family and cultural values, age and physical and intellectual development”.

I can see that – not forcing children to participate in Christmas celebrations if they are not of the Christian faith, and not making Christmas cards or decorations, or writing a letter to Santa. No Easter bonnet parades, no Easter bunny, and so on. In fact, if one were to go completely potty about this, secular humanists’ and atheists’ children shouldn’t participate in that either. I guess that means my DD wouldn’t get to talk about Purim with Jewish classmates, either. (DD also likes Pesach and Hanukkah, for the record.)

Supervisors must “ensure that a child being educated and cared for by the service is not separated from other children for any reason other than illness or an accident”, the regulations state.

So, would that mean no more naughty corner? Well, at childcare centres where DD has gone, the child is always in sight of a carer, it’s only for a certain number of minutes, and the kid is usually making enough noise that nobody could forget about them. That is sensible – the child is always under supervision but they know they’re in trouble. I see that part of this section as being set up to stop unscrupulous carers from putting a child in a locked room as punishment, or to stop teachers from shoving a kid into the corridor for being disruptive, without ensuring there is supervision of that kid.

I imagine quite a few people see the entire act as political correctness gone mad. They may be right.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 4, 2011 in children, News, School


Tags: , , ,

One response to “The Education and Care Services National Act

  1. Little Gumnut

    April 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I do think they should just write things plainly in these laws so that you don’t have to burrow to get the true meaning!


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