Government commitment to early childhood sought

Government commitment to early childhood sought

The Moderator of the Uniting Church’s Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, the Rev. Dr Brian Brown, will call on the Federal Government and Opposition to commit to maintaining the current standards in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across Australia.

He will also seek assurance that children from disadvantaged families have greater access to high quality ECEC services.

The church’s Synod, meeting at Knox Grammar School on April 14, directed the Moderator to take such action following a report from UnitingCare NSW.ACT.

UnitingCare Children’s Services is the third largest provider of children’s services in New South Wales.

Synod noted that access to quality early childhood education and care service (ECEC) is crucial to ensuring children have the best possible start to school.

Research shows that children from disadvantaged families gain the most from having access to quality early childhood education and data shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are often the ones who are missing out on access to a high quality service.

The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF), which came into effect across Australia on January 1, 2012, plays a vital role in improving outcomes for children in ECEC through increasing qualified staff, quality standards and lower staff to child ratios.

Synod heard that supporting children in their early years through quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs makes a lasting difference.

High quality ECEC improves outcomes not just in the transition to school but also students learning throughout their school years.

Children who benefit most from quality ECEC are those from disadvantaged families. However, it is children who are most likely to benefit who are missing out.

By improving access at a young age to high quality ECEC services, vulnerable and disadvantaged children will be given the best possible start in their education. That will mean they will no longer be left behind.

Synod heard it was critical that future Governments maintain a commitment to quality through the current standards.

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