17 April 2008
PM's 2020 vision puts children first
Early Childhood Australia, a national early childhood advocacy organisation, says that the Prime Minister's proposal to put young children at the centre of the 2020 vision for the nation, through universal, high-quality and affordable Parent and Child Centres, is a cause for celebration.
Margaret Young, National President of Early Childhood Australia, describes the Prime Minister's statement that 'early childhood reform lies at the intersection of our aspirations for the nation' as 'inspiring and courageous':
'It acknowledges the significance of early experience and learning for individuals and society, the realities of life for today's young families and the long-term impact of both on long-term productivity,' said Ms Young. 'In proposing to make high-quality integrated services available for families with babies and pre-schoolers, Mr Rudd rightly puts young children first.'
Ms Young applauds the Prime Minister's inclusion of more four-year-degree–qualified early childhood teachers for all children in early learning environments:
'This acknowledges that teaching young children is an intentional professional task. Unless we recognise this we won't achieve the outcomes that are needed.'
Early Childhood Australia says the expected outcomes from these centres would position children well in the here and now, and for successful participation in school and the long-term future of the country.
Early Childhood Australia hopes that the Prime Minister's vision for early childhood becomes a vision for the nation at the 2020 summit.