Starting Now – Centre for Policy Development

Starting Now – first steps towards a universal early childhood system

Starting Now Feature Image

Starting Now is a briefing paper from the Centre for Policy Development that sets out a roadmap to a universal, accessible and affordable early childhood system that families can rely on.

Following 2021’s Starting Better report which provided a long-term vision for the best early childhood system for Australia, Starting Now gives leaders a roadmap with concrete achievable steps over the next 12 months.

The paper recommends swift and coordinated action in three key areas:

  • Action to give parents the confidence to balance work and home by ensuring education and care is available and affordable. This includes: Accelerated changes to subsidy arrangements, measures that ensure public spending flows through to families, educators and teachers, and smarter spending coordination between governments.
  • Action on rewarding, secure early childhood careers so children and families can work with early childhood professionals they know and trust. This includes appropriate valuation of early educators’ work, making early childhood careers a priority at the national Jobs and Skills summit, a tripartite dialogue between unions, employers and government, training incentives for early childhood careers, and lifelong learning for early childhood professionals
  • A national mission for a universal early childhood system This includes a formal agreement between First Ministers to work together on a universal early childhood system, a reform task force to implement it, a special commissioner to lead a Productivity Commission review into a universal early childhood education and care, and long-term funding agreements.

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Starting Now in the Media

Centre for Policy Development’s early childhood development council co-chair Leslie Loble says early childhood education and care is on the agenda for politicians around the country, and that should be used as a launch pad for other policies to help children

Sydney Morning Herald & Melbourne Age – ‘Massive brake’: Sector says workforce shortages a barrier to progress on childcare Katina Curtis, July 31, 2022