Children First Alliance launches in Canberra
Goodstart has joined with nine other Canberra-based not for profit early learning providers to call for an enhanced commitment to early learning in the ACT and additional investment by the ACT and Federal Governments.
Last week ACT Deputy Chief Minister, Yvette Berry, officially launched the Children First Alliance, a network of not-for-profit children’s services providers in the ACT.
The Alliance includes:
The ten organisations that make up the Alliance operate 46 Early Learning Centres with 3,543 places and have come together to develop a shared vision for early childhood education in the ACT to ensure that all children have access.
The Alliance has identified six principles for early childhood education and care:
- Children first
- Whole of child, whole of community
The Alliance has also outlined a five point plan:
- Develop an ACT Early Years Strategy
- Provide ongoing funding for preschool for 4 year olds and extending access to 3 year olds
- Reach children experiencing disadvantage
- Consider community need in planning decisions for new centres
- Strengthen school age care
The ACT Government is currently leading the ‘Future of Education’
reform process which provides a great opportunity to ensure that ECEC is future ready and puts children first.
Goodstart Advocacy Manager John Cherry said quality early childhood education makes a significant and lasting impact on children throughout their lives, but that Australian Governments were lagging behind leading OECD countries in their support for and investment in early learning.
“One in five children in the ACT start school developmentally vulnerable, and among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, two in five children enter school developmentally vulnerable. We can and should be doing a lot better than that,” he said.
ACT families and educators can find out more about the Alliance by visiting the Children First Alliance