ELAA makes comprehensive submission to Early Years Strategy
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > ELAA calls for action on early learning masterplan through comprehensive submission

ELAA calls for action on early learning masterplan through comprehensive submission

by Freya Lucas

May 04, 2023

The Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) has made a comprehensive submission to the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Early Years Strategy’, with Acting CEO Megan O’Connell saying “a coherent Early Years Strategy would establish the foundations to underpin children’s development across Australia”.


“One in five children do not get what they need at present and start school behind their peers,” she continued. “The Government can set high aspirations for a quality, well-connected system that supports all children, particularly those who are vulnerable, to thrive.” 


The ELAA submission lays out four key principles and four policy priority recommendations for the strategy that the Commonwealth Government hopes will serve as a roadmap to a shared understanding of what children and families in Australia need in the early years.


“Our submission focuses on how to improve participation in early childhood education and care (ECEC), especially for children and families from Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who are less likely to have access currently.”


ELAA’s submission defines four guiding principles for the Early Years Strategy:


  • Evidence base – build on professionally researched evidence to address vulnerability and support all children to thrive
  • Accessibility – address operational, eligibility and funding silos existing between State and Commonwealth governments
  • Equity – recognise and cater to all Australians seeking access to ECEC regardless of culture, religion, language, gender identity, location, or relationship preferences
  • Quality – prioritise the delivery of quality ECEC via a professionally trained, recognised, and rewarded ECEC workforce.


“A Commonwealth Early Years Strategy needs to ensure all Australian children are ready to start school and can build the cognitive and social skills they need to thrive within our education system.”


“It also needs to equip early childhood educators to deliver quality ECEC while feeling valued and rewarded for their professionalism,” she added.


To complement these guiding principles the ELAA Submission includes four priority policy recommendations:


  • System centralisation – reduce barriers to accessing ECEC through a streamlined, ‘no wrong door’ system which simplifies access to different ECEC funding and support services
  • Wrap around services – grow the role of ECEC as the universal platform by which vulnerable families and children access or are referred to ‘wrap around’ services such as speech pathology, Maternal Child Health nursing, family support and similar services
  • Co-government investment – government funding of above-award ECEC teacher and educator pay rates to enable the recruitment and retention of a workforce capable of delivering and sustaining high quality ECEC
  • A funding model that supports self-determination and sustainability within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities.


To view ELAA’s full submission to the Commonwealth Early Years Strategy, please see here

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