State and territory Early Childhood Education Ministers have called on the Commonwealth Government to recognise the clear link between high quality early childhood education and children doing better at school by committing to ongoing, adequate and sustainable funding for early childhood education.
Ministers welcomed Lifting Our Game, the final report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools through Early Childhood Interventions.
The report shows that children who participate in quality early childhood education have improved school results, are less likely to need additional support in school and are more likely to complete Year 12.
Attendance at preschool is also linked to better health and employment prospects and the benefits are even greater for vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
The report highlights that investing in early childhood education will pay off in the long run – with a return of $2 to $4 for every dollar invested.
Over the past decade, Australian governments have worked collaboratively to achieve important early childhood education and care reforms, including the introduction of Universal Access to Early Childhood Education in the year before school and a regulation, assessment and rating system under the National Quality Framework.
Despite this achievement, the Commonwealth Government’s ongoing funding commitment to early childhood education remains uncertain.
The Review’s report notes that there have been five successive short-term National Partnerships to support universal access to early childhood education in the last ten years. This uncertainty hampers effective planning and investment in early childhood education services, and ultimately impacts on outcomes for children.
The independent Review, commissioned by all states and territories, was conducted by Ms Susan Pascoe AM and Professor Deborah Brennan. The report and findings complement the Commonwealth Government’s Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, chaired by Mr David Gonski AC, which is due to report in March 2018.
Source: NT Government