Preschool reform promises our children a better future

Children’s health, development and wellbeing will benefit enormously from the free year of early childhood education and care announced in Victoria and New South Wales in June.

In an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Director of the Centre for Community Child Health, and Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner, Anne Hollonds’, reflect on how this game-changing reform will help to improve children’s wellbeing and provide economic benefits to families and communities.

Australia’s future wellbeing depends on the investment in children’s development today. The recent reform announcement, promising one year of free early learning in NSW and Victoria, is a positive step towards acknowledging the importance of play-based learning on children’s healthy development.

Ms Hollonds and Prof Goldfeld write about how play-based learning is exactly what benefits children the most during the early years, and that investing early matters.

“The evidence behind brain development tells us that investing early makes a real difference to children’s learning and wellbeing. It builds social and emotional skills that are foundations for academic learning, relationships and wellbeing in later life.”

In addition to making early childhood education and care available, other factors must also be addressed to ensure the reform has its intended impact.

 “We need to ensure that it is high-quality and accessible, with high participation rates where it is needed most. If this can be achieved, it will give children from disadvantaged backgrounds a much better chance of an equitable start.”

Access the full Sydney Morning Herald article

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