CPD and Parliamentary Friends of Early Childhood hosted the virtual industry launch of Starting Better: A Guarantee for Young Children and Families on Monday 7 February.
Attended by by more than 100 early childhood sector leaders, policymakers, philanthropists, elected officials and academics, the event provided the opportunity for participants to discuss how we make reform of Australia’s early childhood system a national priority.
Released in November last year, Starting Better resulted from extensive research and consultation in our Early Childhood Development Initiative and proposed a Guarantee for Young Children and Families that would entitle every child in Australia and their family to:
Three days free or low-cost quality early education from birth until school, with more days available at minimal cost. This begins as soon as families need it. This means all children will experience the lifelong benefits of quality early education
More paid parental leave, shared between partners. This will give babies time with their parents in the crucial first year of life, and it will give families the confidence to balance work and home more easily and equally
Support for children and parents from within their community, including up to 25 visits from maternal and child health nurses.
Starting Better was launched by National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds, who spoke to 9 Newspapers ahead of the event to call for systemic reform to make Australia the best place in the world to be a child, and to raise one.
There was also a moderated panel discussion led by Early Childhood Development Council co-chair & CPD Fellow Leslie Loble, with attendees hearing from:
- Sarah Hunter, Managing Director, Officeworks
- Tom Calma AO, Co-Chair of the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation & Chancellor of the University of Canberra
- Sam Mostyn AO, President, Chief Executive Women
- Julia Davison, CEO, Goodstart
Panelists were asked for their reflections on ‘Why a guarantee for young children and families should be a priority for Australia in 2022’.