Giving vulnerable children a good start in life
With about 80 per cent of a child’s brain development occurring before they start school, it’s vital that children get at least 15 hours of quality early learning a week in order to be ready for school.
Unfortunately, a large number of vulnerable children in Australia do not attend childcare, preschool or kindergarten, and therefore miss out on the benefits of early learning.
For this reason, a specialist team at Goodstart Early Learning was set up to help vulnerable families access financial support and get the early learning support they need.
This team works in tandem with educators and centre directors to help ensure that all Australia’s children have the learning, development and wellbeing outcomes they need for school and life.
The team facilitates access to the Special Child Care Benefit (SCCB), an Australian Government payment provided to assist children at risk of serious abuse or neglect, or where families are experiencing temporary financial hardship.
The SCCB covers the full cost of childcare for up to 13 weeks, and goes a long way towards improving outcomes for vulnerable children. Research shows
that access to quality early learning can reduce vulnerability by identifying problems early on, and working towards solutions.
Thousands of families, millions of dollars.
Over the past year, Goodstart has helped over 2500 families and almost 4000 children obtain support through SCCB payments, valued at more than $16 million.
As a not-for-profit social enterprise – and Australia’s largest early learning and childcare provider – Goodstart is well-placed to prioritise the needs of vulnerable families across its 648 centres nationwide.
Goodstart believes that all children deserve access to quality early learning, and that the SCCB payment helps extend that right to the most vulnerable members of our communities.
It’s an essential step for many families, because children that start school behind tend to stay behind, leaving them at a disadvantage when it comes to entering the workforce.
It’s also in Australia’s long-term interests. Investing in early learning now increases productivity in the future and makes the economy more competitive. When that happens – the whole country benefits!