How can we say that three-year-olds in Australia are missing out on early learning compared to children in other countries? On one hand, children in Australia have a better chance of attending a quality early learning service than children in other countries, because Australia has national quality measures in place, such as the Early Years Learning Framework(EYLF) and the National Quality Standard (NQS). But, on the other hand, we have fewer three-year-olds participating in this quality early learning system compared to other OECD countries.
Why is quality early learning, two years before school, beneficial to children? And, how can we improve participation in Australia?
Of nearly 16 000 services approved to operate under the National Quality Framework (NQF), the latest NQF Snapshot (ACECQA, 2018) shows 94 per cent of these services have been assessed, and 77 per cent of them meet or exceed the NQS.
Too many Australian children miss out on early learning because Australia doesn’t invest enough to provide a quality preschool program to all children from the age of three, across a range of settings.
Australian governments don’t invest as much as other countries because it has not been a priority. Fundamentally, not enough people understand the importance of quality early learning for children’s development…
The more people understand just how important early education is, the more pressure there will be on governments to increase investment and improve access to early education.
SOURCE: Early Learning: Everyone Benefit. “Early Learning Benefits Everyone.” Newsletter for Educators, April 2018
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia