Thrive by Five launches pre-budget submission calling for urgent reform in early learning

Thrive by Five launches pre-budget submission calling for urgent reform in early learning

by Freya Lucas

February 17, 2022

Early childhood education advocacy platform Thrive by Five will this morning launch its pre-budget submission and call for urgent early learning reform at an event in Canberra. 

 

Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill, Minderoo Foundation Co-Chair Nicola Forrest, The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent and Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development Amanda Rishworth will be in attendance at the event, which is being billed as “the start of the second wave of progress for women’s equality”.

 

Central to the position being taken by Thrive by Five is the notion that childcare is too expensive and in many parts of Australia not available, and that this represents “the single greatest impediment to women fully participating in the workforce and achieving economic equality.”. 

 

Ms Forrest has previously commented that while Australian women rate equal first in educational achievement globally, they rate seventieth for economic opportunity, something which highlights the need for better support to elevate their opportunities in the workforce by reforming early learning. 

 

The pre-budget submission outlines the steps the organisation believes political leaders must take to build on existing reforms and create a world-leading early childhood development system which includes:

 

  • Increasing respect for early learning workers and better pay and conditions;
  • Elevating early learning as a standing item on the national cabinet agenda;
  • providing 26 weeks of paid parental leave; and,
  • Guaranteeing at least 15 hours of 3-year-old preschool in all states and territories.

 

Essentially, Mr Weatherill said, “the message to political leaders from all sides is we want affordable, flexible, high quality early learning.”

 

“The upcoming Federal budget is vital for supporting women and underpinning Australia’s post-pandemic recovery with universally accessible, high quality and affordable early learning, paid parental leave and better pay and conditions for early educators.” 

 

“Fixing the early learning system is the type of reform that will define this generation of political leaders, contribute to greater gender equity and set Australia on a trajectory of economic growth unmatched in our nation’s history,” he continued.

 

“We know what’s needed to reform the system, now we must have the political will to make it happen.”

 

To view the pre-budget submission please see here

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