Letters to the editor: Tuesday, November 14

INVESTING IN FUTURE: Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell is proud preschool fees have dropped thanks to the Start Strong Reforms.
INVESTING IN FUTURE: Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell is proud preschool fees have dropped thanks to the Start Strong Reforms.

Preschool Fee Reduction

Every day, families right across NSW are playing the juggling act of managing their cost of living and a long list of competing priorities.

The NSW Government knows how important education is to children to ensure they get the best start in life – that is why we made it a commitment to make early childhood education more affordable for families.

I am proud that just over a year since we made the commitment we have delivered it.

This is huge news for families, with preschool fees dropping for the first time ever in NSW after years of neglect from former Labor governments.

Preliminary results from the 2017 Preschool Census, which surveyed more than 730 community preschools in NSW, shows fees have already dropped by an average of 25 per cent thanks to the Start Strong Reforms.

Making quality early childhood education more affordable for all families is a goal of the NSW Government’s Start Strong program and the results from the census prove the program is a real success.

The Start Strong reforms were introduced last year to ensure more children had access to 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before school.

Under Start Strong, community preschools must use at least 75 per cent of the funding increase to reduce fees for eligible children, with priority given to children from Aboriginal and low-income families.

The social, cognitive and educational benefits gained from quality early childhood education are immeasurable and this investment is absolutely crucial in ensuring children in NSW have the best start to their school lives.

This builds on the NSW Government’s historic investment of more than $330 million to ensure more children have access to 600 hours of quality, affordable early childhood education until 2020.

Investing in the future of our children is a no brainer, in my books – because our kids deserve it and our families expect it.

Sarah Mitchell,

Minister for Early Childhood Education

Constitutional debate 

The “Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia” is the most important legal document in Australia. In this context it is more valuable than Habeas Corpus, or the Magna Carta.

The Constitution was a gift to the Commonwealth of Australia from the monarch of that time, and his British Government. The Monarch of this time is represented in Australia by the Governor General. The present Monarch, Queen Elizabeth, is represented, in Australia, by Sir Peter Cosgrove.

It is time the Governor General defended our Constitution.

Politicians have been found guilty of breaching section 44 of the constitution. They and their party colleagues, plus the officials are searching for a way to dilute the Constitution, so as to allow those who broke a sacred law, to resume the career in politics.

Not only have they broken a law, they have taken from the Commonwealth of Australia, a salary, expenses, electoral allowances, generous superannuation and various “entitlements”.

In most cases this encompasses the entire time they have been warming a bench in Parliament.

So, what to do. Many are calling for them to pay all that pecuniary benefit back, others are trying to find a way so that a waiver may be applied. As a friend of mine stated, “They should be treated the same way centrelink treats their clients”.

It is probable that the leases on electoral offices are in order and the Government is still paying those leases, which would make some ineligible to take a seat in Parliament.

These people must pay a penalty, not benefit from their ignorance of the Constitution.

One man suggests we change the Constitution. I say no, let us change the politicians.     

Neil Forscutt,

Willow Tree