Early Learning Matters Week builds momentum
Early Learning Matters Week, an initiative of the Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign, continues to gather momentum with confirmation that more than 40 members of parliament and senators from across the political spectrum are visiting early childhood services across Australia.
The campaign, whose primary goal is to increase public awareness and understanding of the benefits of investing in early learning has confirmed that Ken Wyatt (Minister for Indigenous Australians), Michelle Landry (Assistant Minister for Children and Families), Anthony Albanese (Opposition Leader), Senator Mehreen Faruqi (Australian Greens spokesperson for Education), Linda Burney (Shadow Minister for Families, Social Services, Indigenous Australians), Richard Marles (Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Defence), and Jason Clare (Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government) are amongst those that will be visiting early learning services this week.
The impressive level of support has also been reinforced by statements from both Dan Tehan, Minister for Education and Amanda Rishworth, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education.
Commenting on the campaign Samantha Page, Chief Executive Officer of Early Childhood Australia and campaign spokesperson, said “We hope that by experiencing quality early learning in action this week, more politicians will put policies in place to ensure all Australian children get access to at least two days per week of early learning before they start school.”
The Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign is a national collaboration between 27 organisations including but not limited to early childhood peak associations, research institutions, early childhood service providers and community organisations.
The Early Learning: Everyone Benefits campaign calls on federal politicians in both houses of parliament to:
- ensure access to at least two days per week of early education for all Australian children, irrespective of their parents’ activities;
- develop a national Early Years Strategy to ensure no children fall through the gaps;
- provide a long-term commitment to maintain current total levels of funding for Universal Access to kindergarten or preschool programs in the year before school;
- extend kindergarten/preschool funding for play-based programs to support three-year-olds;
- improve the quality of early education and care through ongoing support for the National Quality Agenda and workforce development initiatives; and,
- improve support for disadvantaged children, especially those living in regional and remote areas, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
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