The case for two years - join the push
Now more than ever, Australia is on the cusp of improving school readiness after the Federal Labor Party announced $1.75 billion in funding to give all children the opportunity to attend two years of preschool programs, should they win the next federal election.
Today nearly a quarter of Australian children are arriving at school for the first time have significant vulnerabilities – in their knowledge and communication, their social skills and emotional wellbeing, or in their physical health.
Myra Geddes, Goodstart Early Learning social impact general manager, said ensuring all three and four-year-olds attend age-appropriate, play-based early education will launch them into learning.
“Labor’s policy has the potential to change the lives of generations of Australian children, giving them the skills they need for school and life,” Ms Geddes said.
Ms Geddes co-authored the report, Preschool—Two Years are Better than One
, with Dr Stacey Fox for the influential Mitchell Institute. Their report, which reviewed all the current academic research on the impact of preschool, recommended that governments should work together to make preschool available to all three-years-olds.
“The evidence shows that an extra year of preschool has positive impacts for all children and is one of the most effective strategies to change the life course of the quarter of children and young people experiencing education challenges across the country,” Ms Geddes said.
“So, the Labor Party’s promise is encouraging, building on the reforms made by the current government.
“Goodstart has welcomed the commitment and we’re urging other major parties to get on board.”
Goodstart’s campaign manager Wendy George said ahead of the federal election, the Smart Start campaign will be pushing for funding improvements for all children to be able to attend quality early learning in the two years before school.
“We need to let all political parties know that early education matters to children and their families.
“To help us achieve this and make a difference to children’s lives, join the Smart Start community by visiting www.thesmartstart.com.au/join.”
To download a copy of Preschool—Two Years are Better than One
, visit ww.mitchellinstitute.org.au/reports/two-years-preschool.