Well, 1 July is an exciting milestone for Australian families and for families in my electorate of Jagajaga as we make child care cheaper. As someone who has two small children myself, I know just how essential a service child care is and, in these times when families are facing very real cost-of-living pressures, how important it is that child care is affordable. We know that, particularly for many working women, being able to afford that extra day of child care in a way that makes your going back to work worthwhile and in a way that means you’re not just working an extra day to pay the fees makes a huge difference in being able to take up that care and makes a difference in your career and other opportunities throughout your life.

So, this is a landmark moment for our country. It is a landmark moment where our government shows that we get it: we understand modern working families, we understand the pressures Australian families face and we understand the pressures working women face. And we want to support families with that, and we of course want to support children with access to the best-quality early education that is out there. I again take the opportunity to thank all our early educators, particularly the early educators in Jagajaga and particularly the early educators who take care of my son every day. I get to see every day what amazing work you do and how you help shape our next generation. So thank you for all you do, and I look forward to families in my community benefitting from cheaper child care from 1 July.

It’s not just in child care that our government is investing in the future of our children and in education. There are quality schools in Jagajaga, as there are right around the country. I’m really pleased that we’re able to have schools that cater to all different types of learning and all different types of children.

I had the privilege recently of visiting several local schools that have been recipients of grants through our government’s Schools Upgrade Fund. They included Briar Hill Primary School, Mary Immaculate Primary School in Ivanhoe and Montmorency South Primary School. I hope to be able to visit Parade College in Bundoora soon to share in person the good news of the investment that we’re making in that school too.

This fund is just one example of our government’s commitment to education. It’s supporting enhanced learning environments and providing updated technology, helping to foster an enriched educational experience for students. It was clear to me from my visits that the students and teachers at these schools are really looking forward to the opportunities that will come from these upgrades, particularly in some of the new outdoor-learning spaces that I know they’re investing in. I really look forward to returning to see all the projects once they’re completed and to see the students benefitting from these new spaces. Our government gets investment in the youngest people in our community. We want to help them have the best possible start in life and education throughout their lives.

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