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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5537..


MR BARR (continuing):

allocations through their school-based management fund and there is also a centralised professional development fund. There is a variety of opportunities for staff in the primary, high school and college settings to undertake professional development courses of particular relevance to them. We aim, through having such a flexible system, to provide the opportunities for staff to have the sort of training they need to meet the circumstances that are relevant to any individual school setting.

As I said in my response to Ms Hunter's question, we also have system-wide initiatives. An example of one of those would be in relation to our quality teaching agenda where we have sought to work through cluster leaders to roll out system-wide initiatives. Having that flexibility and that balance across the ACT education system is important. In a system of our size we are perhaps better placed than some of the larger states to have that balance to implement system-wide initiatives and also the flexibility to respond to the needs of individual schools.

Childcare—policy

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People, recognising that Ms Burch has almost an obsession with making sure that our young people are looked after properly.

Opposition members interjecting

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I was on sick leave for quite a while and I have lost my bag of table tennis balls, but I will bring them back. Keep opening your mouths, guys, and we will pop them in.

MR SPEAKER: Let us just have the question, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I would like to know—

Opposition members interjecting

MR HARGREAVES: I really would like to know—I have got this burning desire to know—

Opposition members interjecting

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Coe, you should know this. You would love this. You want to know this, because the sandpit gets bigger. Minister, could you please let us know what the government is doing to ensure that our kids get quality childcare?

MS BURCH: I thank the member for his interest in quality childcare. This government is committed to ensuring that Canberra families have access to the best quality childcare. That is why, as a member of the Council of Australian Governments, we have agreed to a new national quality agenda for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care. From January 2012, a jointly


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