Articles on Early learning

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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.
Children need to get involved in classroom decisions that affect them, rather than just answering questions when prompted to do so. Thomas Mukoya /Reuters

Being seen as well as heard can transform children’s lives

At its simplest, participation is about allowing children to get involved in making decisions that affect their own lives and their own learning experiences.
Cuts to funding in education and research shows a lack of planning for the future. from www.shutterstock.com.au

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.
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…
Dinosaurs are real, believe me. Mother with baby/Shutterstock

Babies can learn about the real world from pictures

Mass media such as books, TV, and the internet are key sources of information, allowing us to increase our knowledge by learning indirectly about things we’ve never directly experienced. Is this true for…
Do you think your Mum and Dad made the right choice? John Stillwell/PA

What should parents look for when choosing a nursery?

Choosing a good quality nursery is one of the most important decisions any parent will make during the first years of their child’s life. In a recent report, UK school and childcare regulator Ofsted acknowledged…
Should parents be satisfied with a “you get what you pay for” model of early childhood learning? www.shutterstock.com.au

The false choice of quality vs cost in early childhood education

The Productivity Commission is undertaking an inquiry into childcare and early learning. In a recent Issues Paper the commission suggests that there is an “inherent trade-off” between affordability and…

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