Lifting our Game
You can now download a copy of the report directly from this post, here, or click the image below.
At a glance
Senior officials from Australia’s states and territories commissioned Susan Pascoe AM and Professor Deborah Brennan to write the report, which presents compelling evidence for investment in ECE. They look at important Australian studies and tie early learning benefits to the higher-profile outcomes in the school sector and find clear grounds for their statement that
…quality early childhood education makes a significant contribution to achieving educational excellence in schools.
As a strategy document it is that rare thing: both true and politically astute.
The report is well-written and deeply satisfying for anyone who believes in the power of quality early learning.
There are many messages we all need to share from its pages, including:
- current ECE spending really only helps parents who work
- children who start school behind, stay behind
- quality ECE makes a significant contribution to educational excellence in school
- investment in ECE returns 2-4 times the costs
- the benefits are even greater for disadvantaged children
- three-year-old children need 15 hours per week of quality preschool
- Australia’s complex ECE system is a barrier to families and to efficiency
- a national, funded, workforce strategy is essential
The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council will meet soon with Ms Pascoe, Professor Brennan, and David Gonski to look at the report’s recommendations and – we can hope – may finally take a long term view of the true value of investment in quality early learning in Australia.
Other studies cited in Lifting Our Game
You may want to extend your reading to some of the programs states and territories have implemented that Ms Pascoe and Prof Brennan included in their review.