Peak body ELACCA pivots towards innovation in newly released five year Strategic Plan
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) has released a new strategic plan which provides details of the organisation’s key objectives and areas of focus for the next five years, as well as highlighting a new ‘pivot to innovation’ designed to capture the benefit of contemporary thinking, evidence and strategy development to improve outcomes for children and those that educate and care for them.
The Plan, which was adopted in December 2019 and remained relevant despite the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, was formulated with the help of PwC’s ‘The Impact Assembly’ who, working together with ELACCA’s design team created an agenda for a whole of membership workshop that was tasked with agreeing on a collective strategy and key sector priorities that would inform their activities for the next five years.
ELACCA CEO, Elizabeth Death said “Our collective focus has always been on the very best outcomes for our youngest Australians and our strategy has withstood the test of COVID -19.”
“The Impact Assembly’s approach was unique and augured well for collaborative work across our diverse membership base of both for profit and not for profit providers where a multitude of perspectives were deliberated upon to understand potential, challenges, opportunities, emotions and dynamics that would impact the process and final strategy development” she added.
Innovation focus underlines new direction for ELACCA
Of particular note in the new strategic plan is a more defined commitment to not only encouraging innovation in the early learning sector, but specifically driving it through the development and piloting of initiatives that will ultimately benefit all Australian children, the broader early learning sector and its stakeholders.
The pivot towards innovation is made possible by a recognition across ELACCA’s membership base of its importance but also the willingness of members to collaborate to leverage their scale, a model that has already been used to good effect in benchmarking initiatives conducted by the organisation.
Commenting Ms Death noted that innovation was indicative of ELACCA’s direction and it was “about applying solutions using evidence to inform planning and to advocate to the Government to improve sector policy development. By piloting innovation ELACCA will lead the sector towards positive change that will benefit stakeholders and all Australian children.”
The other three action areas, alongside innovation are:
- To advocate to governments for the right of children and their families to equitably access quality early learning and care, particularly for children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage
- To provide Australian evidence to inform and improve early learning and care policy development and service delivery by enabling, supporting and coordinating research
- To engage with government, sector, community and media to encourage policy change and generate greater awareness of the importance of investment in quality early learning and care
ELACCA resources to be targeted on four key areas over next five years
As well as clarifying precisely what role ELACCA is seeking to play in the early childhood education and care sector and how it intends to achieve its aims, the new strategy also highlights four areas where the organisation’s resources will be focussed for maximum impact.
- Workforce – where ELACCA will aspire to “Enhance the development and professionalization of the early learning workforce” by leveraging its scale to elevate the quality and profile of the early years workforce whilst increasing its size and diversity.
- Quality – where ELACCA will aspire to “Progress the quality of early learning and care and outcomes for children” by leveraging their scale to facilitate an uplift in service quality across 30% of the early learning and care sector.
- Equity – where ELACCA will aspire to “Improve equity of access to early learning for all children” by leveraging their scale to enable greater inclusion of first nations children and children experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability.
- Advocacy – where ELACCA will aspire to “Generate greater awareness of the importance of investment in quality early learning and care” by leveraging their scale to advocate for the rights of all children, regardless of their circumstances to access early learning.
Ms Death said ELACCA would deliver on its objectives through its “steadfast commitment to increasing the size and diversity of the early years workforce, uplifting quality across the sector, enabling greater inclusion of first nations children and those experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability and advocating for the rights of all children to access high quality and affordable early learning.”
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