Every child deserves the best possible start in life, no matter what their family earns or where they live. And yet, in a country as wealthy as Australia, income and location do make a difference to the strength of a child's foundation for success.
Thankfully, we know which children are most likely to face challenges and what causes them. This means we know exactly what solutions can be implemented now to deliver the most important and consequential reforms ever seen in the Australian education and care sector.
We know children in rural and regional areas, and children from poor or disadvantaged households are more likely to start school behind their more advantaged city counterparts. Half of them never catch up, and head into adulthood with fewer options.
We know families struggle to access the right care for their children because of significant government under investment in education and care services.
In addition, we know the education and care sector is facing a major workforce crisis. Low average pay and conditions, huge staff turnover and uneven access to quality training mean services struggle to find the quality staff needed by children and families.
The missed opportunities have immediate and generational impacts.
That's why the 2022 Federal Election is a time for Australian families to demand action. It is a time for politicians to commit to action!
Pledges to hold reviews, taskforces and inquiries are not needed. We have piles of credible research and reports. Further, peak bodies have built and released a plan that acts as a blueprint for government action.
Community Child Care Association, Community Early Learning Australia and Early Learning Association Australia have joined forces to build this plan. It guarantees access to high quality education and care, delivered by a dedicated, qualified and fairly paid workforce.
In the 2022 Federal Election campaign, we are calling for bipartisan support for a plan that delivers:
1. two days a week of funded early education and care for all children from birth to school
2. a commitment to the inclusion of all children
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