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What children learn in their first 2000 days of life is the most vital, so early learning shouldn’t be dismissed as babysitting. Lukas Coch/AAP

What a difference a portfolio makes: early learning is not babysitting

The reorganisation of federal ministerial portfolios this week moved early childhood education and care from social services to education. This is a good thing.
Cuts to funding in education and research shows a lack of planning for the future. from

The education budget report card: ‘F’ for Fail

You could be forgiven for thinking that education was left largely untouched in Tuesday’s federal budget. But the tinkerings to last year's education budget still mean a "fail" for education funding.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Social Services Minister Scott Morrison hope the government’s childcare policy will encourage more Australians to enter or re-enter the workforce. Paul Miller/AAP

Childcare package neither bold or sustainable

Making the case for subsidising childcare is not as simple as it might seem, and the government's new childcare package may not pay for itself.
A combination of education and care makes Sweden’s early childhood education so much better than Australia’s. Ebba Dahlqvist

Why Swedish early learning is so much better than Australia’s

Most people have heard that Finland leads the world in education, but fewer have heard that Finland’s neighbour, Sweden, is the international leader in early childhood education and care.
The Productivity Commission’s focus is less on quality early learning and more about where to put the kids while the folks are at work. AAP

Productivity Commission a missed opportunity for childcare

The long-awaited report to government by the Productivity Commission on Childcare and Early Childhood Learning is a disappointment for the sector. The report ignored what leading experts in education and…
The government has foreshadowed they’ll announce a “families package” next year, what form should it take? AAP

What do Australians need in a ‘families package’?

There are a lot of babies around, and the numbers are increasing. However, Australia does not have coherent policies that recognise the effect of parenting on workforce participation and vice versa. Parenting…
Research shows children in early learning benefit from having a stable relationship with one teacher, but with 180 qualified early learning teachers leaving every week, that can be difficult to maintain. Shutterstock

Will the Productivity Commission deliver for the childcare sector?

Last year in an open letter to the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, early childhood employers and peak bodies joined forces to ask for a commitment to early learning. They warned the political…
Means-testing the child care rebate means some families are paying twice since their taxes already support education. Shutterstock

Means-testing child-care rebate means families are paying twice

Recent media reports suggest that the Productivity Commission into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning will recommend that the simplified single-payment child-care rebate is means-tested. This is not…
The Productivity Commission contains many positive measures for Early Childhood Learning, but are they implementable? AAP

Good results for early learning, but the devil is in the detail

The recommendations of the Productivity Commission into Childcare and Early Learning appear to be a win for early childhood learning. However, as with many reports such as this, the devil is in the detail…

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