Dear friends and supporters,
It’s official. School is back for federal politicians!
The 47th Parliament of Australia is sitting in Canberra for the very first time today since the 21st of May election - which honestly feels like years ago! (Or is that just us?)
The new parliament looks pretty different from the last with historic representation of women, First Nations Australians and culturally diverse members in both houses. This is welcome. The evidence is clear (and has been for yonks) that, whether it’s in business or government, more diverse groups of decision-makers make better decisions. And right now we need good decisions. Really good decisions.
From the climate to covid to the soaring cost of living, Australians are facing a number of crises at almost every turn. There is no shying away from the fact these are challenging times for the new parliament.
Notwithstanding this, here at The Parenthood HQ we are still pretty giddy with excitement. Just a few weeks after electing a new government and Prime Minister committed to making quality affordable early childhood education and care universally accessible, the NSW and Victorian Governments made a historic joint announcement that will transform early learning for children and families.
Both states will introduce an extra year of play-based early learning before school. Premiers and ministers across party lines recognising the vital role early learning plays in the development and education of children, as well as for families, the community and the economy and committing to bold reform is - quite literally - the stuff of our wildest dreams.
And a little bonus? At a state and federal level, a number of ministers want to work with us - YOU - to make sure these reforms work for families and children.
Since the election we’ve had meetings or attended briefings with the new Federal Minister for Early Education and Youth, Dr Anne Aly, the new Federal Education minister Jason Clare, the NSW Treasurer Matt Kean, the NSW Education minister Sarah Mitchell as well as the Victorian Early Childhood Education Minister Ingrid Stitt. There has never been a better time to be invested in wanting quality, affordable early childhood education and care. It is officially on the map!
In the coming weeks and months we’ll be working hard to ensure the voices of as many parents and carers around the country are heard.
Committing to reform is wonderful but delivering is where the gravel really hits the road.
The most pressing priority is the early childhood education and care workforce. Without educators there is no early education and right now far too many educators are leaving burnt out, exhausted and feeling undervalued and under-appreciated.
We’re working to ensure that giving educators a reason to stay is an issue that gets tackled at the Jobs Summit that’s being held in early September. On that note, if your child’s early learning service is having to close rooms or reduce numbers because of staff shortages please let us know. We know it’s a common story.
State elections will be held in Victoria in November and in NSW in March. If you're keen to volunteer and help campaign get in touch with Maddy here.
Keep your eyes out for a newsletter early next week that will give you a snapshot of what we’ve been up to.