Tasmanian Gov sharpens focus on first 1,000 days, terming them “make or break”

Tasmanian Gov sharpens focus on first 1,000 days, terming them “make or break”

by Freya Lucas

March 30, 2020

The value of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, in terms of setting them up for future success, has been highlighted by a new strategy to be implemented for all Tasmanian children, one which has been described as “vital, because a child’s formative years can make or break their chances of future success” by Australian Medical Association Tasmania president John Burgess.

 

Announced by Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein in the recent State of the State address, held in early March, the strategy recognises that “education is the passport to a better life” and also includes measures to strengthen education across the board, up to and including adult education. 

 

Endorsing the announcement, Professor Burgess said that ensuring positive outcomes in a child’s early years was an essential part of laying the foundations of psychological, social and educational development. 

 

“If we start early, in the first 1,000 days, if we can get that right, we can actually break a lot of the intergenerational disadvantage which we see in our community,” he added. 

 

Housing security, food security and “a system that supports families to look after their children” were all essential elements of a successful start to life for young Tasmanians, Professor Burgess continued.

 

His position was supported by Tasmanian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Leanne McLean, who welcomed the breadth of the strategy and the emphasis on the importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life to their development and future wellbeing.

 

Premier Gutwein said the strategy would be the state’s first comprehensive, long-term and whole of government initiative focused on child and youth wellbeing, ensuring a coordinated approach to driving improvements in health and education outcomes for young Tasmanians.

 

The strategy will be managed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet and will involve consultation with the Commissioner for Children and the Youth Network of Tasmania among others.

 

To read the transcript of the State of the State address, please see here

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