Royal Far West collaborates on plan to end early learning inequality in rural and remote areas: The Sector
10 June 2022 – Royal Far West (RFW) has collaborated with Thrive by Five (TbF) and other key organisations to release a five point plan to help end early learning inequality in rural and remote Australia.
Developed by a coalition of educators, childcare advocates and health service providers in regional areas, the five point plan for early learning reform in rural and remote Australia is aimed at ensuring equal opportunity for city and country children.
The plan calls for the following urgent action from the Federal Government:
- A dedicated funding model for a sustainable and viable early childhood education and care system in rural and remote communities regardless of location, setting, income or hours.
- Early childhood education and care to become part of the National Cabinet reform agenda to deal with complexities of the system and build a true national universal system.
- Agree to a new national agreement to deliver universal three-year-old preschool across the country to match the partnership agreement in place for four-year-old preschool.
- Make the Child Care Subsidy available to all children regardless of the setting and the income or work status of the parents. Lift the Child Care Subsidy to 95 per cent for all children and set agreed fee caps.
- Start workforce planning for universal access and fund appropriate pay and flexible conditions for educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high staff turnover rates across the sector.
“Every Australian child deserves access to high-quality and affordable early learning regardless of their postcode or their family circumstances,” RFW CEO Jacqui Emery said.
“The NSW Government has also signalled it will use the upcoming State Budget to invest more in early learning and we welcome this as an opportunity for investing in early learning across all of the state, regardless of postcode,” she added.
“For decades to come, the fate of rural and remote communities will depend on what the Federal and state governments do for our children now. We urge the Federal government to prioritise early learning reform in rural and remote areas and ensure it’s at the heart of the legacy they want to create on early education and care,” Ms Emery added.
Organisations endorsing the Rural and Remote Five Point Plan are as follows:
- Royal Far West,
- Thrive by Five,
- Bourke & District Children’s Services Yanmali,
- Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA),
- Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA),
- Contact Inc,
- Isolated Childrens’ Parents Association (ICPA),
- Life Ed NSW,
- NSW Nationals Women’s Council,
- Regional Early Education and Development (REED),
- Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme (BUSHkids),
- Rural Aid Ltd,
- Rural and Remote Mobile Children’s Services Council