NSW ECEC sector collaborate in a call for change ahead of state election

by Freya Lucas

February 05, 2019

In anticipation of the New South Wales state election, to be held 23 March 2019, 25 NSW-based peak advocacy bodies and organisations have come together to call upon the next NSW Government to make a firm commitment to affordable, high quality early learning for our youngest learners.

 

Letters were sent to the sitting NSW Premier Ms Gladys Berejiklian, the sitting NSW Minister for Education Mr Rob Stokes, and the sitting NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education Ms Sarah Mitchell highlighting the significant evidence base supporting the importance of quality early learning in creating a solid foundation for a child’s development, success in school and over the longer term life long learning and health and wellbeing outcomes.

 

In addition, the letters highlighted the consensus reached at December’s Council of Australian Government (COAG) meeting that recognised “the importance of the early years of life, and the significant contribution that high-quality early learning makes to life-long educational achievement, productivity, wellbeing and success’ with all jurisdictions committing to ‘continue improving outcomes for children and families” and the ensuing creation of the Early Years Learning Principles.

 

Parallel letters were sent to the NSW Opposition Leader Mr Michael Daley, the NSW Shadow Minister for Education Mr Jihad Dib, and the NSW Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Ms Kate Washington.

 

The letters called on Ministers to engage with the sector via meeting and sought responses to the four key priorities agreed by the 25 co-signatories:

 

  1. All NSW children have access to affordable, high quality early learning for at least two days per week, for the two years before formal schooling, delivered in long day and preschool settings.
  2. NSW children experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage are able to fully participate in early learning and receive the support that they need.
  3. Develop, implement and evaluate a strategic vision and action plan to implement a ten year NSW Early Childhood Education Workforce Strategy (2019-2029) that builds a quality, well remunerated and professionally recognised early years workforce.
  4. Continued partnership support for the National Quality Framework.

 

Within the letters each priority was expanded in some detail to provide greater context as to the precise nature of the areas of focus and provide additional material so to inform strategy creation. 

 

Agreement to proceed with these four core principles was reached unanimously across the group of participating peak bodies and organisations and represented the base case for the sector going forward. That being said, there was scope for individual peak bodies or organisations to advocate separately for additional priorities that were important to their members or stakeholders under seperate cover. 

 

The 25 peak bodies/organisations who were signatories to the letters sent are:

 

  1. Affinity Education Group
  2. Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW
  3. Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS)
  4. Big Fat Smile
  5. Busy Bees
  6. Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA)
  7. Community Early Learning Australia (CELA)
  8. Early Childhood Australia NSW
  9. Early Childhood Teacher Education Council (ECTEC)
  10. Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)
  11. Early Start University of Wollongong
  12. G8 Education
  13. Goodstart Early Learning
  14. Gowrie NSW
  15. Guardian Early Learning Group
  16. Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT
  17. KU Children’s Services
  18. Local Government Children’s Services
  19. Local Government NSW
  20. Only About Children
  21. SDN Children’s Services
  22. The Parenthood
  23. Think Childcare Limited
  24. United Voice NSW
  25. Uniting Early Learning

 

Further information about the NSW election can be found here.

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