Thrive by Five welcomes election commitment by the WA Liberals to boost early childhood education across WA
2 February 2021 – The Thrive by Five campaign has welcomed an election commitment by the WA Liberals to boost early childhood education across Western Australia.
The policy announcement, made by WA Liberal leader Zak Kirkup at the weekend, includes:
- $30 million for an additional ten (10) Child and Parent Centres, providing an integrated one-stop-shop for WA families to access a range of early childhood development programmes, services and advice.
- An additional $8 million trial program to expand the Department of Education’s Language Outreach Service to offer face-to-face speech pathology support for students and teachers within selected government primary schools.
- The development of a WA Play Based Learning Strategy to highlight the importance of play, particularly in the early years, alongside other evidence-based learning practices.
Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill congratulated the WA Liberals for heeding the growing calls of the community for greater government investment in the early learning sector.
“The message from the community is loud and clear – evidenced by the almost 10,000 people who have signed up to the Thrive by Five campaign,” Mr Weatherill said.
“The community wants our leaders to stop playing politics with the crucial development of our nation’s most valuable asset – our kids.
“We need a bipartisan approach to fix Australia’s broken early learning system and I congratulate Mr Kirkup and the WA Liberals for their leadership in this space.
“The Thrive by Five campaign is advocating for systems change to ensure every Australian child has an equal chance to reach their potential. We can only achieve this through a targeted and holistic approach to investing in early learning.”
Mr Weatherill said research undertaken by Minderoo Foundation, its partners and other experts around the world showed just how critical the first five years of a child’s life was.
“The early years has a profound impact on brain development, impacting our kids’ behavioural, learning and physical health as adults,” he said.
“Research suggests that when children start school on the back foot, they usually do not catch up – they fall further behind and, ultimately, fall through the cracks.