Thrive by Five urges the newly elected Victorian Government to pusH OTHER STATES ON EARLY LEARNING REFORM
29 November 2022 – Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative welcomes the newly elected Victorian Government’s commitment on early learning and urges Premier Daniel Andrews to work with the Federal and state governments to achieve significant, national early learning reform.
The Victorian Government has committed to improving access to high-quality early education, including its Best Start, Best Life program which will launch from 2023, that will allow families to access 30 hours a week of free play-based learning for every four-year-old in the state. Daniel Andrew’s also pledged to build 50 new early education centres in areas of need if re-elected.
Premier Andrews took the opportunity to highlight early learning reform in his re-election speech on Saturday evening, stating:
“The other part of leadership is to move the state forward and that’s why it was so important that we put to the Victorian community that we put a positive and optimistic plan for things like free kinder”.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said, “Victoria has played a significant role over the past four years in building momentum for early learning reform by making childcare more affordable and accessible for families.
“It is critical the Victorian Government continues to help drive the national reform agenda so that all parties, and all states, can develop a high-quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning system for all.
“The first five years of a child’s life are critical to their overall cognitive development. Research has shown young children who attend high quality early learning facilities are shown to be healthier, have better educational outcomes and are more productive over the course of their lifetimes.
“In July, bipartisan support for reform was demonstrated with a significant early learning package announced by the Victorian and NSW governments, which included 30 hours of free early education for all four-year-olds.
“In October, the South Australian Government announced former Prime Minister Julia Gillard will head up a Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education tasked with investigating how to deliver early learning access to every three-year-old in the state from 2026.
“Progress toward better outcomes for Australian children and their families has begun, but more work needs to be done. We urge the Victorian Government to work with the Federal Government and other states and territories to develop a high-quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning system for every Australian child,” Mr Weatherill said.