RACP latest organisation to partner with Thrive by Five and call for reform
The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has lent its support to calls for early learning reform being made through the Thrive by Five campaign, noting the correlation with goals of its own Kids COVID Catch Up Campaign, which aims to support children to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Working with Thrive by Five will be a great opportunity to advocate for best-practice supports for children in the early years of life,” said RACP President and Paediatrician Dr Jacqueline Small.
“There is strong evidence that investment in the early years of a child’s life is the most cost-effective means of tackling long-term health conditions and health inequity. The RACP supports Thrive by Five’s call to the Federal Government to phase in paid parental leave for up to 12 months. The evidence shows that exclusive parental care fosters improved maternal and child health with improved developmental outcomes for the child.”
Dr Small said that investment in the early years “offers the possibility of shifting the pathway of a person’s health and social outcomes over the course of their life and disrupting cycles of disadvantage”.
“As we are advocating through our Kids Covid Catch Up Campaign, it is critical that Governments invest to provide universal access to quality early childhood education programs for all three-year-olds as well.”
“Providing access to quality early childhood education opportunities will support the development of children and set Australia up for an equitable and sustainable future in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.” she added.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said the team was excited to work with RACP, commending its commitment to supporting children in maximising their potential both by endorsing the campaign, and through their existing advocacy.
“The RACP and its paediatricians have a strong history of advocating for quality early childhood education as a key building block for children’s development,” he said, saying the partnership “could not come at a better time,” with the major announcement by the New South Wales and Victorian governments ensuring universal access to early learning in the year before school. “The net of opportunity for children has been cast wider and families will be reaping the benefits of this significant reform,” he added.
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