There is clear evidence from Australia and overseas that the early years of a child’s life have a profound impact on their future health, development, learning and wellbeing. Research shows investing in resources to support children in their early years of life brings long-term benefits to them and the whole community. Many of the existing reforms have focused on seeking to ensure that children start school healthy and ready to learn. In addition, there has been a strong focus on improving the quality of services and this has involved both pedagogical (education) and regulatory sectoral reform. However, the outcomes for children from these policies and investments have been mixed. Ongoing challenges remain. This paper reviews what is known about ECD in Australia.
Australia’s Early Childhood Development System: What we know