Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Celebrating Children’s Week 2010

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Peter Garrett AM, MP, Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth and The Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care

The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett, and the Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Kate Ellis, today kicked off celebrations for Children’s Week 2010.

Children’s Week is an annual national festival, recognising the talents, skills, achievements and rights of young Australians.

The Australian Government, in conjunction with state and territory governments, is proud to support Children’s Week activities across the country.

This week many thousands of children and their families will participate in a diverse range of events and activities across the country, including:

  • An official launch of Children’s Week in Queensland’s Australian Zoo Education Centre;
  • Teddy Bears’ picnics in Tasmania and ACT; and
  • Awards ceremonies in Victoria and South Australia, recognising people making important contributions to improve the lives of Australian children.

The Australian Government is committed to supporting Australian families and children through all stages of life.

Ms Macklin said the Government was introducing Australia’s first national Paid Parental Leave scheme from 1 January next year to give working parents more time at home with their new baby, which is in the best interest of little children.

Eligible working parents of babies born on or after 1 January next year will receive up to 18 weeks parental leave paid at the Federal Minimum Wage, which is currently $570 a week before tax.

“The Government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme will give little babies the best start in life. It provides parents with the financial security to stay at home with their babies in the early months, which are so critical for development, bonding and breastfeeding,” Ms Macklin said.

Mr Garrett and Ms Ellis said the Government provided a range of support to families as children grow up through early child care to school and beyond.
“Children’s Week is a fantastic opportunity to acknowledge the unique gifts and abilities of children in their early years,” Mr Garrett said.

“In partnership with schools and communities, the Australian Government is investing in children during their early years, so they can learn and grow in positive, nurturing environments,” said Mr Garrett.

The Government is investing $17.1 billion in early childhood education and care over the next four years.

“We are committed to delivering a world-class system of integrated early childhood education and care where learning is tailored to each child’s individual needs,” Ms Ellis said.

“Our reform agenda aims to ensure that all Australian children start school as happy and confident learners.

Further information on Government initiatives in the development and care of children is available at mychild website.

Children’s Week details are available at Children’s Week Council of Australia website.