Australia’s peak body for large early learning providers welcomes Labor’s commitment to delivering two years of quality early childhood education for all three and four year old Australian children.
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia, whose members provide more than 2000 preschools, kindergartens and long day care centres across Australia, said the policy was ‘transformational’.
We welcome the commitment to provide secure, long term funding for preschool programs for four year olds delivered in long day care centres, preschools and kindergartens and are excited about the commitment to extend access to 3 year olds from 2021. An early start from age 3 can give a child the equivalent of a six month developmental advantage when they start school and sets them up for later learning. We particularly welcome the recognition of early childhood education as the foundational ‘fourth pillar’ of the education system.
The evidence is overwhelming that two years of access to early learning dramatically improves children’s lifelong education, health, wellbeing and employment outcomes. The most significant window for the development of executive function skills in the early years is between 3 and 5 years of age.
The sector leveraged resources to work with Government to make access for 4 year olds a reality – and we can do the same again – this announcement is a game changer for children and families right across the nation. We look forward to welcoming more children into our fabulous early learning services across the country and are confident of the capacity to offer quality placement for three year olds.
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) continues to be a committed partner in supporting the role of future-focussed policies which are in the best interest of the child.