Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at a child care centre in Sydney. Photo: Andrew MearesFederal Election 2013 coverageHave your say on YourViewElection Live with Stephanie Peatling
”He’s coming, he’s coming! Mr Rudd is coming!” shouted a childcare worker, as the Prime Minister negotiated his way through the safety gates at the Mascot long-day care centre in Sydney.
Fresh from a morning of no less than seven radio interviews, Kampaign Kevin landed in the electorate of Kingsford Smith to talk paid parental leave.
Having launched an ad at the weekend featuring an elderly pensioner crying no fair on the Coalition’s ”unaffordable” paid parental scheme, Rudd switched his focus to the opposite end of the age spectrum on Monday.
Little kids may not appreciate the ins and outs of the Coalition vs Labor schemes, but some of them at least knew they had a special visitor.
”I just saw you on the TV!” cried Louis, 3, from the top of a squishy jumping shape.
Different play stations dotted the fake grass and shade-cloth surrounds of the Mascot centre, each providing the Prime Minister with the chance to schmooze the preschoolers while they were handily occupied doing an educational task.
First he visited the puzzles, where a small girl proudly informed the Prime Minister she had new pants. Next, he said hello to a group on the squishy shapes, which Rudd optimistically described as a ”jumping castle” (he is into positivity, after all).
After this, the PM stopped by the reading station, where he rejected Alfie’s Birthday Surprise as a reading out loud option because it had too many words.
Finally he made it to the blocks area, where a clearly delighted Rudd realised that he had an easy segue into talking about infrastructure (two campaign messages for the price of one!).
”We know building too,” Rudd informed the wriggling, mat-bound group. ”We’ve just got to build things up.”
But while Rudd wanted to get his lines in about building for the future, the young folk were not as impressed.
As the PM tried to help with their construction, Victoria, 3, told him: ”That doesn’t fit.”
Block building ticked off, Rudd moved to a row of seats with a sandpit side view to meet the Zhou and Wang families, and discuss how Labor’s PPL scheme was already working (i.e. there’s no need for the Coalition’s more generous alternative).
Here, the PM also had the chance to once again demonstrate his impressive Mandarin skills, and discuss grandbub, Josephine.
”She’s the apple of my eye,” he said. ”I think kids are just such a joy.”
If only they could vote, right?
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