‘Wiping Noses and Stopping Children from Killing Each Other’: Contesting an Only Quality Agenda

  • Elise HunkinEmail author


In 2017, Australian Federal Senator David Leyonhjelm appeared on a popular news television program. Asked if he supported funding increases to bolster the early childhood quality regulations, he replied that, “a lot of women, mostly women, used to look after kids in childcare centres. And then they brought in this national quality framework and they had to go and get a Certificate III in childcare in order to continue the job they were doing — you know, wiping noses and stopping the kids from killing each other” (Weir et al. in “Senator David Leyonhjelm’s Childcare Comments Leave Viewers Gobsmacked,” 2017). This quote sets the scene for this chapter, which presents a critique of the dominant themes, assumptions and logics of only quality agenda in early childhood policy.


Only quality reform Early childhood policy Childcare Early childhood funding Mother-care 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RMIT BundooraRoyal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyBundooraAustralia

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