10 year road map to boost outcomes for Australia's children
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Government launches Early Years Strategy to remove silos in policy and funding

Government launches Early Years Strategy to remove silos in policy and funding

by Freya Lucas

May 07, 2024

The Federal Government has released a ten year roadmap, outlining an overarching vision for Australia’s children, along with clear goals to ensure those birth – five years of age and their families can grow, learn and thrive. 


Central to the roadmap is an understanding of the need for better integration and coordination between the policies, funding and programs which serve children and families, removing ‘silos’ and taking a more collaborative approach. 


“Parents and caregivers don’t see their children through one policy or departmental lens, and neither should the Government,” Federal Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said.


The first five years of a child’s life, including the antenatal period, is a critical developmental window that sets children up for lifelong success and the Government wants to deliver a new, integrated, holistic, whole-of-Commonwealth approach to the early years.


“In the first few years of life, more than one million neural connections are formed in our brains each second – a pace never repeated again.”


“Through the Strategy, we have the opportunity to create an integrated approach to these critical early years, and increase accountability to the wellbeing, education, and development of Australia’s children.”


The Strategy acknowledges the important role parents and caregivers have in their child’s life and seeks to provide the information and skills they need to raise nurtured, safe, connected and healthy children, and is built around five key Principles, eight Outcomes and four Priority Focus Areas where the Government will direct effort to achieve its goals, including:


  • Valuing the early years;
  • Empowering parents, caregivers and families;
  • Supporting and working with communities; and
  • Strengthening accountability and coordination


“If we get these vital early years right we can change the trajectory of a child’s life, setting them up to thrive throughout life regardless of their background or postcode,” Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly said.


“Today’s launch is another important step towards reaching our vision of an Australia where all children are able to thrive right into adulthood.”


The strategy was guided by an expert 14-member Early Years Strategy Advisory Panel including children’s entertainer Emma Watkins, child health expert Professor Fiona Stanley and CEO of SNAICC Catherine Liddle. 


Practical steps and to achieve the vision in the Strategy will be outlined in three Action Plans to be released over the ten-year lifetime of the document. The first will be released later this year, along with an Outcomes Framework.


To further assist in realising the goals in the Strategy, the Government will establish a new Parents and Carers Reference Group to drive implementation. Consisting of around 20 members, the Group will provide a forum to hear from parents and carers on future reform activity and new policies and programs for families with children aged 0-12 years, and provide opportunities to hear directly from children on matters that affect them.


The Group delivers on the Strategy’s first Priority Focus Area: valuing the early years by embedding the voices of children and their families in our policies, programs and services.


A Progress Update on the Government’s work to date in the early years will also be released later today.  


A full version of the Early Years Strategy and the evidence used to underpin the Strategy is available here

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