Early Childhood Initiative

Making Australia the best place to be a child and raise a family

The Early Childhood Initiative works with leaders, researchers and public officials in the Early Childhood Development Council to continually refine and progress a new vision for a nation where every child can thrive.

In 2021 the Centre for Policy Development published the Starting Better report, which proposed the guarantee for young children and families – a new pillar of Australia’s social deal that all families can rely on.

It proposes a universal early childhood system that is high quality, equitable, affordable and accessible. The guarantee has since been referenced by numerous government stakeholders as an ideal reference point for future reforms.

The Centre for Policy Development Early Childhood Initiative continues to advise on the implementation of early childhood reforms including the expansion of paid parental leave, the design of a universal early education and care system, and historic investments in early childhood at a state and federal level.

Early Childhood Initiative highlights

Starting better cover

Starting Better is a landmark report from the Centre for Policy Development’s Early Childhood Initiative that proposes a Guarantee for Young Children and Families, and provides a roadmap to make it a reality

The Early Childhood Development Council brings public officials, experts, researchers, advocates, unions and peak bodies together to discuss the direction of Australia’s early childhood system

The Centre for Policy Development shapes Australia’s early childhood policy through advice and guidance to the Early Years Strategy, the Productivity Commission, the Employment White Paper and more

Early Childhood Initiative experts

Early Childhood Initiative recent work

The ECEC Funding Models Consultation Paper is a joint release from CPD and the Front Project that considers the design and features of a future funding model for Australia's ECEC
A Brief History of Commonwealth Involvement in Early Childhood Education and Care is a research paper produced by the Centre for Policy Development in partnership with the South Australian Royal
The Eighth Early Childhood Development Council meeting was held on 4 August 2023 in Sydney. The meeting considered the key components of system redesign needed to secure a well connected early

Early Childhood Initiative in the media

CPD welcomes Productivity Commission report recommendations and highlights them as an important first step toward building a truly universal early childhood system
The AERO report comes as NSW and Victorian governments are ramping up investment in preschool education, while the Productivity Commission is due to release a draft report into early childhood education and care in November.
The Australian government is currently looking at how to improve the country’s childcare system, and there are two broad reviews of the existing system being undertaken by the Productivity Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Thursday 16 June 2022 – The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) welcomes today’s joint announcement that Victoria and New South Wales will introduce a universal preschool year as a critical systemic reform with major long-term benefits for children and families.
Tuesday 14 June 2022 – Today’s announcement by the NSW Government on early childhood has been welcomed by early childhood policy experts, as consensus on systemic reform builds across levels of government. The $5b decade-long package includes incentives for operators to
Just over a year ago we brought together people from across Australia to ask what we need to make our country a better place to be a child, and to raise one. It was a big question, but an urgent

Early Childhood Initiative related initiatives

Contact the Early Childhood Initiative team

At the Centre for Policy Development, our team is at the forefront of policy research and innovation in Australia.

Whether you have an inquiry, feedback, or a collaboration idea, we’re eager to hear from you.

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