Another step towards major reform in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector began last week with the Productivity Commission Inquiry into early childhood education and care commencing on the 1st March.
Goodstart, Australia’s largest not for profit provider of early learning and care, acknowledges the review offers the opportunity to develop long term policy setting to ensure all of Australia’s children get the best possible start in life.
“The government has a chance to do a full review of our early childhood education and care system to make sure it is affordable, accessible, inclusive and high quality,” Myra Geddes Goodstart’s General Manager for Social Impact said.
“We know the benefits of early learning and the importance the first five years of a child’s development has in terms of impact on the rest of their learning and life. Australia is behind many other countries with their investments in the early years. This is a real chance to catch up, improve educational outcomes and ensure every child gets every chance to thrive.
A key priority for Goodstart in informing the commission will be to address the workforce crisis being felt across the ECEC sector. The government has been on the record acknowledging the valuable work and critical role our educators play in developing and nurturing children but the professional acknowledgement hasn’t extended to public investment in educator wages.
All children deserve guaranteed universal access to high quality learning in an inclusive setting. We know that not for profit providers deliver higher quality and inclusive learning but fewer families are able to access a not for profit centre for their children. Families need to be given more choice in where their children attend early learning.
“More needs to be done to support children with additional needs as early intervention has been shown to avoid much bigger development gaps later on in life.”
“Goodstart looks forward to engaging with the Productivity Commission and the Federal Government to deliver this huge reform, we are excited at this once in a generation opportunity to make real change for early learning ensuring all of Australia’s children get the best possible start in life.” Myra said.
Initial submissions to the inquiry will close in mid-May at https://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/childhood