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Do young children need ID numbers?

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Identification numbers attached to children as young as three could be used to track and punish their parents.

The ID system will be rolled out next year, paving the way for information to possibly be passed from kindergartens to the Government agency which monitors beneficiaries.

About 190,000 children in early childhood education will be assigned a national student number, with providers collecting information including each child's daily attendance.

The Greens say childhood workers will effectively be asked to dob in parents who are not meeting their obligation to have their children in education, with preschool teachers used as "de facto benefit police". The Government has moved to downplay the fears but refused to rule out an information sharing programme.

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