If you’re an Early Childhood Education professional in Australia lately, your ears might be burning. It’s an industry frequently making the headlines, but not for the reasons we’d like it to be. The endless research demonstrating the benefits of Early Childhood Education across the lifespan is rarely making it to the news desk. But what does, you ask? Funding. To our surprise, adequate funding to Early Childhood Education is still a point of contention down in Canberra. Funding isn’t just about raising the wages of our desperately underpaid educators. It’s about being able to provide adequate access to high quality educational programs to all children aged 0-5 in Australia.
As Harold Mitchell of the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University states, Early Childhood Education provides young children with skills for life, like making friends, communicating and regulating their emotions. If that doesn’t encourage parents or politicians to invest in Early Childhood Education, perhaps the idea that 1 in 5 Australian children start kindergarten behind their peers could? Even more alarmingly, nearly half these children will stay behind. We hope that statistic gets some dollars moving in the right direction.
Early Childhood Education is vital to the development of confident and engaged learners. We want to grow a generation of competent and thoughtful citizens that will carry Australia into a bright future. Let your local representative know you believe in Early Childhood Education and you believe our children are worth it!