Early childhood services for families

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About

This consultation has now closed - read about the symposium and the data collected on YourSAy here.

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We want to support South Australian families and children through improved early childhood education, and we want to hear your ideas. Get involved and be in the running for one of three prizes - more details here.

What is the issue?

Research shows that access to two years of preschool can reduce the effect of disadvantage, giving children a better start to school, creating benefits that continue into adulthood. It also tells us that it is more effective to

About

This consultation has now closed - read about the symposium and the data collected on YourSAy here.

-------------------

We want to support South Australian families and children through improved early childhood education, and we want to hear your ideas. Get involved and be in the running for one of three prizes - more details here.

What is the issue?

Research shows that access to two years of preschool can reduce the effect of disadvantage, giving children a better start to school, creating benefits that continue into adulthood. It also tells us that it is more effective to support children’s development during these early years than it is to try to ‘fix’ problems when they are older. We know that what happens in the first five years of a child’s life provides the foundation for their development, health and happiness in the later years.

Families constantly juggle the balance between work, home and supporting their children's development, yet child care outside of preschool hours is often difficult to access, fragmented and in some case doesn't effectively support families.

We want you to tell us what you think about these issues: JOIN THE DISCUSSION

The South Australian Government wants to be responsible for the education of our children through early learning, primary school and secondary school - starting from birth and up to 18 years old. Premier Jay Weatherill is committed to leading early childhood education reform and will work with Hon. Susan Close, the Minister for Education and Child Development, to ensure all South Australian families have access to quality early childhood education. On 27 November, the Premier will lead a national discussion on the early childhood reform agenda, which will focus on how states and territories can continue to deliver quality preschool services, meeting the needs of families by providing flexibility and choice.

Within our community we have children who experience disadvantage. The reform agenda also looks to give children who are vulnerable or disadvantaged better access to the support that they need so they have the opportunity to be their best.

What can you help us with?

We want to hear your views and ideas in three distinct areas:

  • Before and after preschool care
    How do you manage before and after preschool care? How could longer sessions of preschool or access to care before and after the preschool program help you with work/life balance?
  • More services for disadvantaged children
    Tell us how an expanded three-year-old preschool program could make a difference for those South Australian children who need it most? If your child has, or is currently, been participating in a three-year-old preschool program, what benefits have you seen?
  • Greater flexibility and choice for families
    What could be done differently to improve flexibility and choice in accessing quality preschools in South Australia?

Additionally, by letting us know what you think you could be in the running for one of three School Start Buddy cases with a School Start Handbook. Winners will be randomly selected; you can find the Terms and Conditions of the competition here (PDF, 130KB).

How will your input be used?

Your feedback will directly inform the Premier’s discussions about early childhood education service reform at state and national levels at the following events:

  • Early Childhood National Reform Symposium: 27 November 2015, Adelaide. WATCH THE VIDEOS HERE
  • Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting: 11 December 2015, Canberra

Want to find out more?

If you have any enquiries or want to find out more, you can send us an email via decd.ecreformyoursay@sa.gov.au.

You can also join the conversation online using the #earlychildSA hashtag.




Background


Premier Jay Weatherill, Early Childhood Symposium, November 2015



Ted Melhuish, Early Childhood Symposium, November 2015 - download the presentation (PDF, 1.3MB)



Expert panel, Early Childhood National Reform Symposium, November 2015





Consultation has concluded
  • Outcome

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    by BTT_Migration_Team,

    The Early Childhood National Reform Symposium was held in Adelaide, on 27 November 2015, to seek contributions to the proposed national early childhood reforms. The symposium was hosted by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill.

    The symposium was attended by almost 100 representatives from early childhood service providers, education sectors, parent groups, universities and welfare agencies. Participants outlined an aspirational vision for young children and the need for a high-quality early education service system to support them.

    They envisaged a service system that supports all children. They wanted to ensure that, our most disadvantaged can access the education and care they need to fulfil their potential to develop, learn and grow. They wanted to foster a community that recognises children’s rights and values their contributions – both now and into the future.

    To support the symposium, over a two-week period, 90 parents and carers took the time to consider the reform proposals on the South Australian Government’s YourSAy online consultation platform.

    They were overwhelmingly supportive of the proposals to provide high-quality early childhood education and care in flexible ways that support their children’s learning and development, and help them to balance their work and family responsibilities. They also said, however, that services needed to better support their work and family responsibilities.

    The purpose of the symposium was to have an open discussion about how the Federation can support the following three early childhood reform proposals:

    • Durable, consistent preschool funding for all children regardless of what kind of preschool they attend
    • Removing any barriers preventing preschools from being able to offer outside of preschool hours care in order to facilitate choice and assist working families
    • New ways for states and territories to support and develop disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

    The keynote speaker, Professor Edward (Ted) Melhuish, Professor of Human Development at the University of Oxford, outlined a progressive and evidence-based argument for investing in the early years.

    Premier Jay Weatherill described his passion for a more efficient and effective preschool system in Australia and announced his national reform proposal to be presented at the December 2015 Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting.

    Participants asked questions of a panel that included Premier Jay Weatherill, Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close, Professor Ted Melhuish, Dr Sara Glover, Director of the Mitchell Institute and Samantha Page, Chief Executive Officer of Early Childhood Australia.

    A facilitated consultation workshop by Jenny Philip-Harbutt provided a wealth of information about the detail of the proposed reforms that will be used to inform the South Australian Premier’s discussion at COAG.

    The symposium was moderated by Channel 7 senior news reporter Jayne Stinson.

    Read the full report, including the data collected in the discussions on YourSAy, here (PDF, 872KB).

  • What you said

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    by BTT_Migration_Team,
    supporting image

    What you said

    We want to hear your views and ideas in three distinct areas:

    • Before and after preschool care
      How do you manage before and after preschool care? How could longer sessions of preschool or access to care before and after the preschool program help you with work/life balance?
    • More services for disadvantaged children
      Tell us how an expanded three-year-old preschool program could make a difference for those South Australian children who need it most? If your child has, or is currently, been participating in a three-year-old preschool program, what benefits have you seen?
    • Greater flexibility and choice for families
      What could be done differently to improve flexibility and choice in accessing quality preschools in South Australia?


    By letting us know what you think, you could be in the running for one of three School Start Buddy cases with a School Start Handbook. Winners will be randomly selected; you can find the Terms and Conditions of the competition here (PDF, 130KB).

    Thank you for providing your comments on YourSAy. If sensitive subject matter arises within submitted comments, the YourSAy team may edit usernames to protect the privacy of the contributor and any associated children that may be mentioned.

    So come join the conversation in the discussions below to let us know your views and have your say.