Media

MEDIA RELEASE: Setting vulnerable and disadvantaged children up for success

October 11, 2022

The Albanese Labor Government and Andrews Labor Government are ensuring vulnerable and disadvantaged children aren’t left behind, delivering targeted wrap-around support to bridge the gap to school readiness.

 

Up to 200 children, under the age of three, will benefit from a new intensive early childhood education and care trial model – being rolled out across four locations – with the first site in Richmond, Victoria.

 

High quality early childhood education and care is critical in supporting a child’s development and future success, however children experiencing family stress or social disadvantage can often be left behind.

 

The intensive early childhood education and care model will support children to overcome disadvantage and trauma by offering a rigorously developed curriculum, infant mental health and wrap-around support for vulnerable children and their families.

 

The initiative builds on a research project undertaken by the University of Melbourne which found that children who participated in intensive early childhood education experienced extraordinary improvements in cognitive skills, resilience and socio-emotional development.

 

The model is designed to lift school readiness and broader education and health outcomes for participants while helping to further build the evidence base for best practice early learning programs in Australia. The three remaining trial sites are set to launch over the next year.

 

The Australian Government is investing $9.5 million to deliver the trial model in four locations. The Victorian Government is providing $4.4 million to deliver the Richmond Site, as well as an additional site in Ballarat. Various philanthropic organisations are contributing towards the roll out of the trial nationally.

 

The trial will run for three years and includes transitional supports for children following their participation in the model. The Parkville Institute has been established to generate robust research that will advance evidence informed  policy and practice in the early childood education and care sector and grow the the capacity and capability of the workforce. Uniting Vic. Tas will deliver the Cooke Court Uniting SEED site in Richmond.

 

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering a comprehensive overhaul of early childhood education and care, with a massive $9 billion investment over the next decade to ensure that every Victorian family can access a free, high-quality kindergarten service, while simultaneously supporting women to return to the workforce.

 

For more information visit: https://www.education.gov.au/closing-the-gap/early-childhood-package-closing-gap.

 

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly

 

“This is about ensuring no child is left behind simply because of the circumstances they’ve been born into.”

 

“Early childhood education and care creates a life long foundation for a child to thrive at school and as an adult.”

 

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep Ingrid Stitt

 

“We know how important it is to invest in early learning and care because it delivers the best educational outcomes for children.”

 

“This service will help some of our most disadvantaged children get the education and care they deserve to set them up for future success.”

 

Quote attributable to Parkville Institute Co-Directors of Research and Practice Dr Anne Kennedy and Associate Professor Brigid Jordan AM

 

“Parkville Institute is working with partners to build the early childhood sector’s capacity to implement and evaluate evidence-informed intensive early childhood education and care models.

 

“Equity principles underpin our high expectations for all children as learners and our commitment to rigorous research and practice.”

 

Quotes attributable to Uniting Vic. Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike

 

“Uniting is excited about building on the great outcomes of the research project and the significant improvements that were shown in children across language, speech, resilience and social and emotional development.”

 

“We’ve been providing early learning services and supporting families in need across Victoria for more than a century. Every child deserves the right to a good education and this program is about giving children experiencing family stress or social disadvantage the help they need so they’re able to school with confidence and developmentally equal with their peers.”

 

 

[ENDS]

 

Media Contact:

Minister Aly, Hannah Porter – 0427 677 335

Minister Stitt, Ben Ansell – 0488 777 170

Parkville Institute, Anne Kennedy – 0410 166 234 or Brigid Jordan – 0408 899 271

Uniting Vic. Tas, Cameron Tait – 0407 801 231