Early Years Summit a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the trajectory for children in Australia
The Parenthood urges politicians attending tomorrow’s Early Years Summit in Canberra to be ambitious in laying the foundations for a new approach to early childhood development, education and care in Australia.
“Our current early childhood education and care model is broken. Parents still don’t have a true choice, our early educators are underpaid and overworked, the economy isn’t getting the full benefit, and most concerningly, it isn’t the best model for our children with too many missing out,” said Georgie Dent, CEO of The Parenthood.
“2023 is the year of reform for early years education. The Early Years Summit and the development of a Commonwealth Early Years Strategy is the opportunity to prioritise the wellbeing of children and to make Australia the best place in the world to be a parent and raise a child.
“The Federal Government is open for feedback. This is the start of an important shift from managing the current issues of the existing model, to system-wide reform that truly delivers for all children in Australia.
Georgie Dent will attend the Early Years Summit and is also part of a 14-member expert Advisory Panel that has been established to inform the development of an Early Years Strategy.
“Universally accessible, quality early childhood education and care ought to form the cornerstone of an Early Years Strategy that seeks to set every child in Australia up to realise their full potential,” said Dent.
“Between zero and five is the most richly formative time in a child’s development and right now, one in five children in Australia arrive at school developmentally vulnerable. In rural areas it’s two in five and it’s higher among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
“Children who attend quality early learning in the early years are half as likely to arrive at school behind. They enjoy lifelong advantages – in their health, education and wellbeing – as a result.
“The evidence of the associated economic, educational and social benefits that flow from a totally affordable and accessible quality early learning system is overwhelming and incontrovertible.”
"Investing in early childhood development and education now and in the long-term will benefit children, support parents wanting to get back to work and stimulate the economy. It’s never been more important.”