COAG Endorses First National Childhood Strategy

12 August 2009

Media Release

02 July 2009

The Council of Australian Governments today endorsed the National Early Childhood Development Strategy (NECD) - Investing in the Early Years - the first nationally agreed approach to early childhood development in Australia.

The Strategy will provide a roadmap for action to ensure Australian parents and their children have access to quality, nationally consistent education and care.

The NECD is central to COAG's shared vision for Australia's children - that by 2020 all children can have the best possible start in life to create a better future for themselves and for the nation.

COAG also released a consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on achieving quality reform across early education and child care settings.

The Statement represents a significant down payment on the early childhood development strategy and its goal of delivering high quality care for children.

The RIS for the National Quality Agenda proposes:

  • improved quality standards for early childhood education and child care services
  • a new rating system designed to give parents more information about the quality of their child's early education and care service
  • lower staff to child ratios and higher staff qualification requirements
  • new national governance arrangements which reflect the shared responsibilities of all Australian Governments for early childhood
  • enhanced regulatory arrangements so that the 10,000 individual providers will need to deal with only one organisation for quality assessment to ensure an ongoing commitment to quality while reducing the administrative burden on providers.

The RIS will be open to broad community consultation, including from the sector and parents.
The National Quality RIS will build on the work of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), which was also released today and will be implemented from this month.

The EYLF is the first national guide to help early childhood educators develop quality early childhood programs and to let parents know how best to support their children's early learning.
Adopting the Framework means children will receive a nationally consistent and quality early childhood education, with learning tailored to their individual needs so that they start school as happy and confident learners.

COAG's decision shows that all Australian governments are serious about delivering high quality education and care for our children.

For more information about the outcomes of the latest COAG meeting, please visit the COAG website - www.coag.gov.au.

For more information about the Australian Government's early childhood education and child care initiatives, please visit www.deewr.gov.au/earlychildhood

Download full COAG EYLF Report here.

Downlad COAG EYLF Families Brochure here.