Over the next two years Charter Hall will donate to the Early Learning Fund, to provide fee-relief for early learning and care for at least 55 families and their children experiencing significant vulnerability. Each eligible child will receive a minimum of two days of early learning and care each week at a Goodstart early learning centre during the two years before school.
It is the first time in Australia that an early learning provider and a landlord have worked together to improve early learning access for children experiencing vulnerability.
The Early Learning Fund is a partnership between Goodstart, Benevolent and Uniting (NSW/ACT). All children and their families supported by the Early Learning Fund are living below the poverty line. Eligible children include those at risk of abuse or neglect, living in hardship, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and refugee and humanitarian entrants.
Goodstart CEO Julia Davison said the partnership with Charter Hall will create tangible community and social impact.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with our existing partner, Charter Hall, to make a real difference in the lives of children thanks to this philanthropic funding,” Julia said.
“There are many barriers for children and their families – who are experiencing vulnerability – which can stop them attending early learning and care – and cost is on the top of the list.
“The Early Learning Fund, provides fee-relief so that children can access two days of early learning, and we know the most vulnerable children gain the most from participating in our high quality and inclusive programs ahead of starting school.”
In Australia, thousands of children cannot access early learning and care because of their family circumstances – putting them at a disadvantage early in life. The Early Learning Fund aims to address this by acting as a ‘safey net’ when there is no government assistance available or it has been exhausted.
Managing Director and CEO of Charter Hall David Harrison, said he was proud to support this partnership, which is aligned with the Group’s mission to promote positive social inclusion and help our vulnerable communities.
“Partnering with our tenant customer, Goodstart Early Learning, presents another opportunity for Charter Hall Group to build on our long history of supporting local communities to achieve better futures,” said Mr Harrison.
“At Charter Hall, we’ve always held a belief that the best investments begin when people and business work together towards shared goals, this includes partnering to have a positive impact on our communities in which we operate. Our partnership with the Goodstart Early Learning Fund is another way we can create strong communities and customer partnerships.”
Travis Butcher, Fund Manager for the Charter Hall Social Infrastructure REIT (CQE) said the partnership is a fantastic way to support our largest tenant customer, Goodstart, to provide real social and educational benefits to the children that can access this program through the Early Learning Fund.
“We know many of the children set to benefit from this funding are the very children that are attending our CQE owned assets where Goodstart operates its early learning programs. We’re proud to be part of a solution that is creating more inclusive communities, where no child in Australia misses out on vital access to early learning and care before they start school.”
Children experiencing vulnerability are the most at risk of being developmentally vulnerable by the time they start school and all evidence shows that once a child starts school behind, they often never catch up.
The Early Learning Fund started in 2015 and in 2021, it supported more than 1000 children attending both Uniting and Goodstart early learning centres, thanks to philantrophy, corporate funding and Goodstart’s workplace giving program, Giving@Goodstart.
Behind the Early Learning Fund are three of Australia’s largest not for profits – The Benevolent Society, Goodstart Early Learning and Uniting (NSW/ACT). The Benevolent Society oversees and manages the Fund and Goodstart and Uniting are program partners who identify and offer support to eligible children. All administration and management costs are covered by Goodstart and Uniting. This means 100% of funds raised directly covers each child’s early learning expenses.
To learn more about the Early Learning Fund visit our website here or contact Goodstart's Corporate Affairs team via email@example.com.