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Home >  News & advice > March 2018 > At least two sessions of early learning needed each week for full benefits

At least two sessions of early learning needed each week for full benefits

At least two sessions of early learning needed each week for full benefits

Research from around the world and here in Australia shows children need at least 15 hours a week of quality early learning* - that’s access to at least two sessions of early learning each week.

What this means is that children currently attending only one day of child care would benefit from an additional day of early learning each week, and with the introduction of the new Child Care Subsidy (which starts from 2 July), some families may be able to access that additional day for little or no extra cost.

Are additional days more affordable for everyone?
It’s estimated that a large majority of families will be better off under the new Child Care Subsidy, with the new package offering much more generous support for most low and middle income families.

It’s important to note however that there are several factors which determine how much subsidy a family is entitled to receive:
  • Family income
  • The fortnightly hours of recognised activity undertaken
  • The fees charged by your chosen child care provider.
We’ve detailed the main things you need to know about the new Child Care Subsidy in this article, and we’ve also written about the impact that your household income can have on the subsidy you receive as well as the things that qualify for recognised activity.

You can use our simple subsidy estimator to see how much an additional day of early learning could cost you.

What difference could an extra day make for your child?
The benefits of quality early learning are many, and we’ve written about this here in a recent article. Research from Australia and around the world however shows that children need a minimum of 15 hours of high quality early learning each week to realise these benefits, which include:
  • Children who attend preschool are 50% less likely to start school ‘developmentally vulnerable’, which is great news as children who start behind tend to stay behind.
  • Children who attend three or more years of quality early learning perform better in year four maths, science and reading.
  • The benefits of early learning are still evident in higher levels of literacy and numeracy understanding in children at ages 11 and 16.
High quality early learning environments also play a significant role in school readiness and the development of many foundational social-emotional skills which benefit children their whole lives.

Don’t let your child miss out, use our simple subsidy estimator now to see how affordable an additional day could be for your family.

*Sources: Chang, M. (2012). Academic performance of language-minority students and all-day kindergarten: a longitudinal study. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 23(1), 21-48);
Frede, E., Jung, K., Barnett, S., & Figueras, A. (2009). Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES) preliminary results through 2nd Grade. Interim Report. National Institute for Early Education Research;
Loeb, S., Bridges, M., Bassok, D., Fuller, B., Ruberger, R. (2007), How Much is too much?, ‘The influence of preschool centers on children’s social and cognitive development, Economics of Education Review, 26, 52-56;
Chang M Singh K (2008) Is All-Day Kindergarten Better for Children's Academic Performance? Evidence from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Australian Journal of Early Childhood, v33 n4 p35-42 Dec 2008; Melhuish, E., et al ibid.


Posted by Goodstart
23 March 2018

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