Universal access to ECEC at heart of new parent advocacy campaign ahead of election

Universal access to ECEC at heart of new parent advocacy campaign ahead of election

by Freya Lucas

November 18, 2021

With Australia’s next Federal election to be held prior to 21 May 2022, campaigning is heating up with early childhood education and care (ECEC) a big ticket campaign item again. 

 

Parent advocacy group The Parenthood has initiated a new campaign, #ParentsUp, calling for “a better deal for children” from the next Federal Government, and for the successful party or parties to make early childhood education a priority. 

 

“We need leaders to recognise the case for change and prioritise the policies that will meaningfully improve the lives and wellbeing of children, parents and families,” The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said. 

 

Australia, Ms Dent said, “lags the developed world” in the provision of policies that are proven to improve outcomes for children and families.

 

Ahead of the federal election, the campaign is calling for political candidates and parties to make commitments to provide:

 

  • One year of Paid Parental Leave to be shared between parents; and,
  • Universal access to quality, inclusive ECEC and outside school hours care.

 

Ms Dent described such policies as “the bridges and roads” that enable parents and carers to be there for their children whilst also providing for their families. As well as supporting families, prioritising high-quality ECEC would also see dramatic improvements in health, social, educational and economic outcomes for children, parents and the nation. 

 

“Investing in paid parental leave and ECEC reform represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our nation. The impact for parents, children and all Australians would be life-changing and help build a better future and stronger economy,” she added. 

 

In 2020, UNICEF ranked Australia in 32nd place out of 41 nations for child well-being and noted that as a nation we “fall short in delivering consistently good health, education and social outcomes for children”.

 

The cumulative impact of reforming ECEC and paid parental leave could increase national GDP by 4.1 per cent in 2050 or $166 billion, Ms Dent said. 

 

For more information about the campaign please see here

 

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