Child protection - a tale of two Australias
So the government is moving to “protect” errant toddlers in the suburbs from the naughty corner and spare them from harmful Easter Egg hunts.
Like a hovering, obsessive parent they’re imposing a new raft of regulations on childcare workers ostensibly aimed at the welfare of the child.
The implications for the childcare industry are huge – and it’s not just the politically correct psychobabble that’s a cultural and social threat.
The new childcare regulations provide massive cost implications through the imposition of higher education requirements for carers and lower levels of carer to child ratios.
The childcare industry has warned that the regulations will push up the cost of childcare and make it unaffordable for many working families. They worry that the new rules and accompanying fines will make it difficult to recruit new staff to an increasingly demanding role.
The government’s defence to any opposition is the inarguable “we have to do what’s right for the little ones”.
But where is the evidence that children were in any way under threat before the Labor Government used the might of COAG to force a new raft of regulation and red tape on the childcare industry? Where were the hoards of angry parents demanding changes?
So let’s contrast the raft of childcare regulation this Labor Government has put in place to protect children in the leafy suburbs with what is being done to help aboriginal children living in squalid conditions in town camps and traditional lands in remote parts of our nation.
It’s a well known and documented problem – shocking health problems, neglect, truancy and in some cases physical and sexual abuse. All beginning at a very young age.
So where are the standards being set to ensure these Aussie kids get some form of basic protection? Not from Easter Egg hunts and gender-specific toys, but from disease and abuse. With these children the government acts more like an absent and neglectful parent than a hovering one.
Why the double standard?
The effort, money and countless hours at COAG that have gone into these new childcare reforms to protect children against the naughty corner could better have been spent tackling the very real problem of child welfare in indigenous communities.
I guess it’s easier to address a problem that doesn’t really exist and to regulate compliant white folk who are used to seeing their values eroded and their wallets raided every time Labor gets a new idea.
It’s a lot tougher to tackle an endemic problem that requires more than just regulation and red tape.
So while toddlers in town camps are subject to the drunken whims of whoever passes the threshold of their ramshackle home, here in the “real” world Family Day Care providers have to ensure police checks are carried out any relative who visits their home more than seven times a year.
It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad and serious.
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