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Leading the way towards world-class pedagogy and practice

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Goodstart Early Learning has moved a step closer to becoming a world leader in early childhood pedagogy and practice with the appointment of UK’s renowned early childhood leader, Sue Robb OBE.

Ms Robb has been appointed to Goodstart’s new position of general manager of pedagogy and practice.

Until July, the international leader in early childhood pedagogy was the Head of Early Learning at Action for Children in the UK where she led the delivery of the Department of Education’s partnership with the early years and childcare.

It is with excitement, vigour and the driving belief that the youngest children deserve the very best learning and development experiences that Sue now turns her attention to Australia.

Ms Robb brings a wealth of experience to Goodstart including working closely with both government and the sector in implementing the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage and associated effective evidence-based programmes and sector initiatives that supported a marked quality uplift in UK’s early years sector.

“In the UK, there has been a journey of quality improvement, which really took off in 2008 with the introduction of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework along with universal access of 15 hours early learning for children aged three to five years. This focus on early learning in the UK was further enhanced with the introduction of 15 hours access to early learning and development for the most vulnerable two-year-olds,” Ms Robb said.

Having now arrived in Australia, Ms Robb said she was looking forward to sharing her knowledge and continuing her own reflective learning.

“Whilst there is still much to achieve in the UK, I am extremely proud to join Goodstart at such a pivotal time in their quality journey and importantly, a critical time for Australia’s young children’s futures.’’

She said that Goodstart was on the cusp of spearheading sector-led improvement.  

“The quality work we are putting in place at Goodstart will help our educators in supporting child outcomes. It will propel Goodstart and the Australian early childhood sector forward to the next phase of its quality journey,” she said. 

She said that Goodstart’s approach to evidenced-based practice, measurement and research and the way that Goodstart convenes a Thought Leaders Advisory Group was unprecedented.

“Goodstart is a catalyst of positive change in the early years in Australia, bringing local and international academics in early childhood together to collaborate and translate evidence into practice that will make the biggest impact to Australia’s children,” she said.

“The thought leaders who are working with the organisation are world leaders in their fields and are helping Goodstart on its journey to be world leader in early learning pedagogy and practice.”

Goodstart remains focused on continual quality improvement in its programming and practice to ensure children gain the most benefit from participation in high quality early learning.

“Since the National Quality Standard was introduced in 2012, 56 per cent of Goodstart centres assessed were meeting or exceeding in their educational program and practice and as of last month, 95 per cent of Goodstart centres meet or exceed the standards in this quality area, but we still want to do more.”

Ms Robb said the early years were the foundation upon which a country’s future is built with high quality early years’ experiences impacting upon a child’s future school and life success.

“All research is clear about the benefits of quality early learning experiences and that it truly enhances children’s learning as they enter school and future years,” she said.

“In Australia, there are increasingly numbers of children starting school behind and on the world stage, Australia is lagging behind.

“Australia has a low rate of enrolment of three-year-olds in early learning and is in the bottom third of countries ranked by the OECD.”  

From her UK experience and learnings from across the world, Ms Robb said it was important to advocate the case for two years of quality education for all children before their transition to school.

“Research clearly shows the power of children accessing at least two years of early learning and care before school,” she said.

“Access to high quality early learning is also an incredibly powerful means of transcending disadvantage.”

“Children all over the world – across Europe, China, New Zealand and parts of South Asia are already benefiting from two years of high quality early learning.” 

Goodstart is committed to monitoring and reporting on its progress towards achieving its purpose to ensure all children have the learning, development and wellbeing outcomes they need for school and life.
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