Submission from Marisa Bicknell
I oppose the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill.
Firstly I am concerned about the erosion of the rights of one subset of our population, I don’t believe that discrimination is acceptable in any form, and this is blatant discrimination of those receiving a benefit.
I am also concerned about the blanket one size fits all approach, not all children are suited to ECE. Daycares, preschools and kindergartens are busy, noisy and extremely over stimulating for some children. I myself have two highly sensitive children who are not suited to being in that environment, they find it exhausting and overwhelming. An estimated 15-20% of the population is highly sensitive, but those who happen to have beneficiaries as parents will be forced into those environments for 15 hours a week whether it’s best for them or not. Highly sensitive children when constantly exposed to those environments are likely to become painfully shy and withdrawn which will only cause more problems when they join school not less. Many 3 year olds are not ready to be separated from their main care giver for 15 hours a week. Go along to any daycare/preschool/kindy and you will see deeply distressed children being dropped off. Sadly for some parents that drop off is unavoidable but why make children of beneficiaries go through that if they don’t need to?
Lastly, we as a family have chosen to home educate our children. It is the best choice for them and they are thriving. If for some reason my marriage was to breakdown or my spouse was to die my children would not only have to deal with a divorce or the death of a parent but they would also have to deal with being forced into either school or day care environments that don’t suit their highly sensitive natures. They would be forcibly separated from their remaining parent for either 15 or 30 hours, as well as losing the familiarity of the homeschooling community we are currently part of.