There are many debates over the importance of early childhood care and education. Some people believe that children must start learning at a young age, while others think that children should be allowed to play and explore without any formal instruction. In Australia, the debate is ongoing, but there seems to be a consensus that early childhood education is beneficial for students. This blog post will discuss some of the benefits of early childhood care and education in Australia.
The Australian government has long recognised the importance of early childhood education, as evident by the number of programmes and initiatives it has put in place to support them. But what are the benefits of early childhood care and education for both children and society as a whole? And how can we ensure that all Australian children have access to high-quality care and education? These are important questions that require further exploration.
Recent research in March 2022 by a Senior Economist, The Australia Institute, Matt Grudnoff, clearly depicts ‘Australia invests less in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services (relative to GDP) than most OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, and far less than the Nordic countries, leading to an ECEC system that is underfunded as well as disproportionately dependent on private contributions.
On the contrary, early childhood education and care in Australia have gained immense attention during the 2019 election campaign. This is predominantly due to the announcement made by the Australian labour Party about –
- Funding of three-year-old kids for preschool
- $4 billion AUD to overhaul the childcare subsidy system
At present, there are several early childhood care and education services (ecec) available in Australia such as-
- Preschool or kindergarten
- Center-based childcare
- Supporting families with childcare
The benefits of early childhood care and education are endless, so it’s important to start your child off on the right foot!
Develop Good Habits – It is important to bring up a child with a regular routine to make them feel comfortable and confident. Inculcating the habit of waking up at a regular time, maintaining proper hygiene, and then eating a healthy breakfast to get them started for the day is paramount for any young child. Over time, these healthy regimes will help them to be ready for a better and more fulfilling life ahead, which will help with a smooth transition to school.
Overall Development – Various independent as well as University research reveals early childhood care and education are important for his or her overall development – The benefits of early childhood care and education include social and emotional development, cognitive skills, language development, and physical health. The spontaneous or planned activities conducted in early childhood education and care such as conversation among the tiny tots or between children and caregivers enrich language skills. Exercises like reading stories, where children are engaged in thinking and narrating the story to their peer group help in stimulating their imagination. These kinds of activities help them learn to speak clearly, learn new things with their peers in a planned way, improve their listening skills, and learn how to get along with others.
In a nutshell, we can conclude that despite the importance of early childhood care, there are still many families in Australia who struggle to afford quality in early childhood education for their children. The government has taken some steps to improve the affordability and accessibility of ECEC, but more work needs to be done.
The importance of early childhood care and education in Australia is evident. Not only do these programmes provide children with a strong foundation, but they also have a positive impact on the economy. With the right support, children in Australia can achieve great things.
To continue the discussion further – How will you help make a difference in the life of a child? Comment below!