October 26th, 2020

WA community comes together to make early learning a priority.


The Thrive by Five campaign will today host a policy forum to discuss the future of early learning in Western Australia – with members of the community encouraged to attend and provide feedback.

The forum will consider a new policy paper, released today, from CoLab – Collaborate for Kids (a joint initiative between Telethon Kids Institute and Minderoo Foundation).

The policy paper considers a future system in Western Australia where every family with a child under 4 could access all the advice and support they need, from pregnancy to the first day of compulsory school, within their neighbourhood from friendly, well-trained staff with expertise in maternal and child health, early learning and parenting.

With insight from Telethon Kids Institute and the University of Western Australia Public Policy Institute, today’s forum will inform public discourse leading up to the WA state election in March 2021.

The policy forum will feature Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill, Dr Rosemary Cahill from Telethon Kids Institute, The West Australian’s Federal Political Editor Lanai Scarr, Professor Shamit Saggar from UWA’s Public Policy Institute, Dr Gerardine Neylon from UWA’s Graduate School of Education and Linda Savage, former West Australian Member of Parliament and Ambassador for Children and Young People in Western Australia.

The forum is designed to encourage the broader community, business, and all sides of politics to prioritise early learning and education. Parents, educators, and stakeholders have been invited to join the interactive event to develop proposals ahead of the WA state election.

Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said it was time to put children at the top of the agenda in Western Australia.

“It’s time to consider what researchers, educators, early learning organisations and, most importantly, parents themselves are saying,” Mr Weatherill said. “Australia’s early learning system needs proper reform which would see more women enter the workforce, a stronger economy and reduce cost of living pressures on families, especially as we look at the COVID-19 recovery.

“This forum is the perfect way for the WA community to come together, decide what needs to change and make sure political parties are aware of these issues ahead of the state election.  Let’s give our children the best chance to succeed and give politicians an understanding of what needs to be done.”

The virtual forum is free to attend and is available to everyone. Visit this link to register and for more details. To read the CoLab policy paper visit here.