“Early learning and childcare is not an optional extra, this is an essential service.”
Thrive by Five is an initiative of Minderoo Foundation that is campaigning to make Australia’s early learning childcare system high quality and universally accessible. The campaign believes this to be the most significant educational, social and economic reform of the current era. In the words of Minderoo Director of Public Affairs, Jay Weatherill, “early learning and childcare is not an optional extra, this is an essential service.”
Why is reform of early childhood education important? Because early childhood education directly impacts the development of the youngest in our communities, and how well the the early childhood system is working – including its successes and limitations – impacts the wellbeing of families, with a gender bias.
The latest AEDC data shows that at a national level, the percentage of children who were ‘on track’ on 5 domains decreased for the first time since 2009, and that the rate of children assessed as developmentally vulnerable on one or more domain is increasing.
Figures also continue to show that early learning in Australia is some of the highest in the OECD with costs rising at an unaffordable rate for most Australian families. This can directly disadvantage mothers, who are generally primary caregivers, contributing significantly to workforce disincentive rates and therefore affecting long-term financial security.
These facts are simply not acceptable in modern Australian society. We can do better.
Thrive by Five’s proposed law would:
👧 Enshrine in legislation the right of every child to thrive by five
Set up a national body that would be responsible for rolling out universal early learning, ensuring the quality is consistently high and that educators are supported properly
Give every child three days of early learning per week, capped at a cost of $10 a day
What would it mean for the families that you work with to be able to access such affordable early childhood education? PeakCare believes it will enable Queensland families in all their diversity to feel that their concerns have been heard and that their children have equal opportunities no matter who or where they are, and for early childhood educators to receive the respect and recognition they deserve.
If you agree, you can join PeakCare in signing your or your organisation’s name to Thrive by Five’s Open Letter to the Prime Minister calling for this change at their website.
Every voice counts to the collective shout for change, so PeakCare encourages our members to discuss this new campaign with families you know and work alongside, and support them to sign the campaign too.
A child’s brain is a remarkable little creature forming more than a million neural connections every second when activated. The Thrive by Five website also contains useful and accessible evidence-based resources to support families, guardians and carers to build strong connections with the children in their lives across domains of attention, responsiveness, engagement, planning, and tackling challenges. Check out the resources including tips to nurture connection by playing fun, age-appropriate games here.