Articles on Early childhood

Displaying 1 - 20 of 24 articles

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.
The Productivity Commission’s report on childcare will help inform the Abbott government’s soon-to-be-unveiled ‘families package’. AAP/Paul Miller

Productivity Commission childcare report shows blind faith in market

Many of the Productivity Commission's proposals derive from assumptions that the funding of these services should ensure minimal interference, with a classic, market-based model for meeting "demand".
Sharing stories around the dinner table fosters greater self-esteem and resilience in young people. Howard Chalkley

‘Remember when we…?’ Why sharing memories is soul food

Families and friends share memories all the time; “You’ll never guess…”, “How was your day?”, and “Do you remember when…” are rich daily fodder. Sharing memories is not only a good way to debrief and reminisce…
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…
Giving today’s kids a flying start with early education will be crucial to helping them fill the gap left behind by retiring Baby Boomers. Kevin Conor Keller/Flickr

Baby Boomers, be nice to your grandkids: they may save Australia

The problem with Australia’s population ageing is not that there are too many older people – it’s that there are not enough young people to support them. That presents many challenges to Australia’s continued…
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion with students in the Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory. Research shows acting on overcrowded housing could greatly improve Indigenous kids’ school attendance in remote communities. AAP/Neda Vanovac

How crowded homes can lead to empty schools in the bush

Tony Abbott is spending this week in North East Arnhem Land, part of his long-held hope “to be not just the Prime Minister but the Prime Minister for Aboriginal Affairs”. We asked our experts: what stories…
Let’s ignore the policymakers, kid. Wilson X

Focus on attachment in parenting policy is misplaced

A recent report from the Sutton Trust is the latest in a line of recommendations for family policy to focus on promoting secure attachment between parents and their children. What puzzles me is why the…
Forget the daily grunt… can we learn more vocab today? kaarsten child image via Shutterstock

Listening, not testing, will improve children’s vocabulary

Every few months a story appears about the declining speech and language skills of children arriving in primary school. The epithet “the daily grunt” was invented by one newspaper to capture the lack of…
My mum could use that extra cash. Peter Macdiarmid/PA

New childcare accounts help those who already afford quality

The coalition has placed a series of new plans on the table with regard to childcare and early years education. Most eye-catching is the new “tax-free childcare” scheme: from September 2015, for every…
Are parents using technological devices as pacifiers rather than talking to them?

We’re not talking to our kids: are we causing speech delay?

A parent with a small child in a stroller is walking along the footpath with headphones in. The child is crying, the parent is oblivious. A parent walks into a cafe engaged in conversation on the phone…
You can tell me anything. Mother & son image via Shutterstock

Bonding with your child matters for their life chances

The idea that parenting matters for early child development is now widely accepted. We also now know a great deal about the role of parenting in social inequalities in development. Parents with more resources…
The policy solutions of Labor and Liberal governments are not facing up to the big challenges in childcare. Childcare image from

Higher wages vs more training: why the government is going the wrong way on childcare

At this point in the history of early childhood education and care in Australia, we’re at a policy crossroad. The Coalition has the choice to either continue the reforms begun by the ALP or take a different…

Top contributors