The latest child care related news, views and reviews June 19, 2013
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Should the Federal Government be providing compulsory pre school education for all? Should all child care services provide a pre-school program in the year before school? This week we look at whether our kids are losing out to other countries that have compulsory, state funded pre-school for all children. Our June mum in profile is Nana Clair's Gifts founder Kelly Rowe.

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Pre-school education
More reason to insist on pre-school education for all

pre-schoolOur recent child care survey showed that 17% of parents say their child care service does not provide a formal pre-school numeracy and literacy curriculum, but this could be as high as 40% as 23% of parents weren't sure either way.

Children in Australia start school at least a year later than most other developed countries, with compulsory attendance from age 6, but we still don't have compulsory and guaranteed pre-school education for all. If preschool education is compulsory, it should be an effective program that can be delivered either in pre-schools (which do already exist, but just aren't used extensively), and in long day care and family day care programs by trained early childhood educators.

In some states pre-schools are run by the state and territory governments, but in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales they are more often run by local councils, community groups or organisations, such as KU Children's Services.

Pre-school is offered to three to five-year-olds; attendance numbers vary widely between the states, but 85.7% of children attended pre-school the year before school. The year before a child is due to attend primary school is the main year for pre-school education. This year is far more commonly attended, and may take the form of a few hours of activity during weekdays.

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Mum in Profile - Kelly Rowe

Kelly RoweKelly Rowe is a registered Nurse and the founder of Nana Clair's Gifts toy company. She lives in Mildura, Victoria with her three children Angus 5, Aylah 3, Charlie, 7 months and husband Anthony.

C4K: How would you describe your daily routine?

KR: General day to day life in our house is pretty busy. I have 3 children: The oldest at kinder this year and my youngest only 4 months old. Needless to say, my youngest is pretty good at finding time to sleep in the car in-between the trips to kinder and child care, and the everyday activities that go on in our house. I am a Registered Nurse by trade (still on maternity leave), but still seem to find time to be a Mum and a wife, and run my business - Nana Clair's Gifts.

C4K:How did you come up with Nana Clair’s Gifts (love the name)?

KR: Nana Clairs Gifts – my fourth 'baby' as I like to call it, came about while I was on maternity leave with my second baby. I am a Mum to three beautiful children and while they certainly keep me busy I needed something to keep my adult brain ticking over. I had always wanted to own my own shop, so I took the idea of selling gifts for babies / kids and opened my own online shop - this provides the best of both worlds; I get to have my shop and spend more time at home with the kids, while my customers get to share in our beautiful range of gifts.

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