Federal Government Needs to Deliver a National Early Years COVID Plan
28 October 2021 – As COVID-19 restrictions ease and early learning centres open up in NSW and Victoria, Thrive by Five is calling on the Federal Government to deliver an urgent national plan to help better protect children aged under five, early educators and communities from infection.
Thrive by Five has today released its Early Years COVID-19 Plan outlining key priorities for government, including greater support for children’s health, greater financial stability and ensuring children who have missed out on critical learning during lockdowns have opportunities to catch up.
Thrive by Five CEO, Jay Weatherill, said a comprehensive Early Years COVID-19 Plan was vital to protect children under five, their families, and educators.
“Australia is jeopardising the wellbeing of an entire generation of children if we cannot deliver a logical plan to address and deal with the impact of COVID-19 on our kids,” Mr Weatherill said.
“The Prime Minister cannot afford to let this pandemic and its aftershocks hold back the development of a generation and stop them from reaching their full potential.
“The Federal Government must act now to protect, support, and build resilience for all our young children otherwise they may never catch up in their early learning and social development, and be at risk of long-term mental health issues.
“These impacts are significant, cumulative and go to the heart of the health of our families and communities. Additional support for parents, families and educators are also vital.
“Australia needs an Early Years COVID-19 Plan that adequately addresses children’s wellbeing. It must prioritise high-quality early learning support, health and safety, and the removal of financial barriers to access.
“It’s not good enough to leave a future generation of young Australians vulnerable or with the scars of this pandemic when the Federal Government can choose to act now,” said Mr Weatherill.