SOUTH AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S ADVOCACY ALLIANCE WELCOMES ROYAL COMMISSION INTERIM REPORT
19 April 2023 – A diverse alliance of South Australian children’s advocates has welcomed the interim report of the South Australian Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care, which boosts their calls for early childhood education and care reform in South Australia and for universal access to three-year-old preschool.
The alliance, which is supported by Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative, released a three-point action plan to give every South Australian child the best start to life
“Last week, our alliance released an action plan that made clear the steps South Australia needs to take in the critical early years to make sure every child has the opportunity for the best start in life,” said Kerra-Lee Wescombe, Director of Connect.Ed.
“The recommendations contained in the interim report are clearly aligned with our action plan, boosting the case for high quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning delivered by a supported, qualified and appropriately valued early childhood education workforce for South Australia.”
“Our action plan calls for South Australia to lead early years reform nationally, a recommendation reflected in the interim report,” said Dr Susie Raymond, Program Director of early childhood education at the University of South Australia.
“Likewise, we have called for workforce measures to attract and retain the best early childhood educators and teachers in South Australia, and for reforms to ensure barriers that prevent families from accessing early learning are removed. Both these recommendations are repeated by the Royal Commission.”
“In the years to the age of five, a child’s brain grows to 90 per cent of the size of an adult brain. This makes the early years critical for children’s lifelong health, development and well-being. If we get these early years right, we can set children up for life,” said Dr Jon Jureidini, Research Lead at the Robinson Research Institute.
“We urge the South Australian Government to carefully consider the recommendations of the interim report and our action plan and take the necessary steps, including ensuring services reach the most disadvantaged, to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive.”
A copy of the Action Plan is attached. It is endorsed by: the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health, the Australian Education Union SA Branch, Children and Young People with Disability Australia, Connected.Ed, Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils Australia, Goodstart Early Learning, Playgroup SA, the Preschool Directors Association of South Australia, the South Australian Primary Principals Association, United Workers Union, the University of Adelaide, Robinson Research Institute, the University of South Australia and Welcoming Australia.