Access to affordable childcare essential for success
Improved participation rates in early childhood education are resulting in improved outcomes for the state’s children, according to Goodstart Early Learning’s advocacy manager John Cherry.
The recently released Naplan results show a strong correlation between improved education outcomes and participation rates in early childhood education.
“Access to quality affordable childcare is critical for parents of young children,” Mr Cherry said.
“And the Naplan results show this.
“Ensuring all children have access to quality early learning is also in Australia’s best long-term interests because investing in early learning now will increase our future productivity and make Australia’s economy more competitive in the future.
“Research and our own experience providing at least 15 hours of quality early learning a week is needed to ensure all children are ready for school and for life.
“If children start school behind, they tend to say behind and finish school not ready for the workforce. Access to early learning improves school readiness and later life outcomes,” Mr Cherry said.
In 2008, Queensland had the worst rates in childhood education, in the year before full-time school in Australia with about 30 per cent of children enrolled for at least one hour a week (Deloitte, 2014).
In 2016, 95 per cent of children are enrolled in a preschool program for at least 15 hours per week (Deloitte, 2014).
In April 2015, Australian Early Development Census results were released showing Queensland’s language and cognitive skills had increased dramatically.
Goodstart Early Learning chief executive officer Julia Davison said access to quality early learning was the key to improving later educational performance, because more than 80 per cent of a child’s brain development occurs before a child starts school.
“Access to quality early learning in the important early years has been shown to be the most cost effective way to improve literacy and numeracy,” Ms Davison said.
“Research by the Melbourne Institute released late last year found that children who attended a quality preschool scored 20-30 points higher on Year 3 NAPLAN results than children who did not,” she said.