Page 5125 - Week 12 - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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professional learning. Additional career pathways have also opened for both teachers and assistants working in the preschool units.

For schools we have seen a greater understanding of the importance of the preschool year and an increase in quality early childhood teaching practices throughout the early years in our schools. The preschool year is, for the majority of our families, their first interaction with the public schooling system. For children to make this transition smoothly and to be able to benefit from all that our wonderful public schools have to offer, they need to feel comfortable and supported in their preschool environments. The amalgamation has dramatically increased opportunities for this to occur.

The ACT government is unified in its commitment to the national quality agenda with the framework being applied universally across the long day care, family day care, outside school hours care and independent preschool sectors. Importantly, for the first time, ACT public preschool units will be licensed and regulated under this scheme. I am very pleased to say that the ACT is leading the way across Australia for the inclusion of public preschools under this system.

The amendment to section 20, subsections (1) and (2) will change the definition of schools so that preschools are included under the definition of a school for government schools. With the change to the above section, section 146 is no longer required as section 39 now reflects the inclusive nature of school structures so that all parents are able to support and engage with the school. Also under section 20 is the note that public school preschool units are subject to requirements under the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act.

These amendments, although minor in nature, reflect the major changes that have occurred and are occurring within our quality public preschool provision. I commend them to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Doszpot) adjourned to the next sitting.

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (No 3)

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (No 3) is part of a series of legislation that concerns the Justice and Community Safety portfolio. The bill I am introducing today will improve the effectiveness of the ACT statute book.

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