THRIVE BY FIVE WELCOMES ROYAL COMMISSION’S CALL FOR BOLD REFORM OF EARLY LEARNING AND URGES SWIFT IMPLEMENTATION
27 August 2023 – Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five campaign has welcomed the release today of the final report of the South Australian Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care and urges the Government to urgently implement its recommendations.
The Commission recommends that the South Australian Government undertake bold reforms to improve and bolster the state’s early learning sector, including:
- rolling out three and four-year-old preschool across the state,
- investing in rural and remote early learning infrastructure,
- introduce dedicated degrees in education that focus on the first five years of a child’s life, that are accredited by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
Minderoo Foundation’s Jay Weatherill said the South Australian Government should adopt the Commission’s recommendations in full and lead the national conversation on bold early learning reforms.
“The recommendation of the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care released today provides South Australia with the opportunity for once-in-a-generation reform that can transform the lives of children and families,” Mr Weatherill said.
“If adopted, these recommendations will greatly improve access to affordable, high-quality early learning for all South Australian families and give children a better start in life.
“The rollout of three-year-old preschools will give thousands of young South Australian children access free early childhood education that will have lasting positive effects and will set them up for future success. This is good for families, for children and for the entire state.
“Dedicated, accredited educational degrees focusing on the first five years will help ensure that the early learning educators are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to provide children with the best possible early education.
“Improved rural and remote early learning infrastructure and services will allow families and children living in the state’s regions to have greater access to early learning services and will help bridge the gap between urban and rural early learning access.
“The Commission correctly identifies the vital importance of the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Access to high-quality early learning in this crucial time can help ensure that children have the possible start in life.
“A universally accessible, high-quality, accessible and affordable early learning system will also greatly improve workforce participation by primary carers – who are predominantly mothers – and will boost the South Australian economy.
“The South Australian Government and Premier Malinauskas also have the opportunity to not only invest in and secure the futures of young South Australians but also lead by example on national, broad-scale early learning reforms and work towards building a universally accessible early learning system across Australia.
“The Thrive by Five campaign strongly encourages the South Australian Government to adopt the Commission’s recommendations in full and work toward building an early learning system that helps support all families and children across the state,” he said.