Thrive by Five welcomes NSW investment in Indigenous early learning in new Budget

Thrive by Five welcomes NSW investment in Indigenous early learning in new Budget

by Freya Lucas

June 25, 2021

Thrive by Five, the national campaign to reform early learning and childcare, has welcomed the NSW Government’s $23 million investment in Indigenous early learning recently announced in the State Budget.


The investment is designed to increase opportunities for First Nations children to learn the language of their heritage, as well as increasing the enrolment of Indigenous children in early learning.


“The science is very clear. Children’s brains grow to 90 per cent of the size of an adult brain during their first five years. This makes those years absolutely critical to ensuring children have the opportunity to thrive,” Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said.


AEDC data shows that one in five children in Australia are considered developmentally vulnerable at the time they start school. This number rises to two in five for First Nations children. 


The investment by the NSW Government aligns closely with Closing the Gap targets and will help increase the accessibility and quality of early learning for First Nations children. It will also increase the opportunities for all children to learn about Indigenous Australian culture.


“Every child should be able to access the benefits of a quality early education and every parent should have the choice to enrol their children in a quality early learning service, no matter their background or circumstances,” Mr Weatherill said.


“This NSW Government initiative is an excellent example of the kind of reform in early learning and childcare Thrive by Five is calling for to make Australia’s early learning and childcare system high quality, universally accessible and affordable.


“We are increasingly seeing State and Territory Governments taking leadership on that reform. We would encourage State and Territory leaders to bring this kind of leadership to the National Cabinet next month,” he concluded. 


For more information about Thrive by Five, see here. A breakdown of the NSW Budget as it relates to ECEC may be found here.