Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA) supports the Thrive by Five campaign calling on the Federal government to enshrine high-quality early learning in law.
The proposed Thrive by Five Early Childhood Guarantee (Universal access to early childhood services and benefits) Bill 2024 would include:
CYDA CEO Skye Kakoschke-Moore said the legislation would ensure the diverse needs of all children, including children with disability, were recognised, embraced and adequately addressed.
“For too long, Australia’s confusing and costly early childhood education and care system has failed children with disability and their families,” she said.
“This early childhood guarantee is an opportunity for all levels of government to commit to a coordinated and streamlined ecosystem of supports that will allow children with disability to learn, play, grow and thrive.
“It would be a system with inclusivity at its heart, where services like the NDIS seamlessly interact with other crucial supports to give children with disability the best possible start to life.”
CYDA has played an ongoing role in highlighting the need for quality and inclusive ECEC services for all children.
In its September submission to the Independent NDIS Review, it urged government to guarantee that children with disability remained on the scheme until and unless viable and effective early childhood approaches were made available.
Research shows that the early years of a child’s life are critical, impacting their long-term health, education and economic outcomes.
Additional comments from Skye Kakoschke-Moore:
“Early childhood educators, despite the strong desire to work with children with disability, are not always supported to support children with disability to thrive. The health system and the early learning system don’t talk to each other, and we have an NDIS that adds complication, rather than simplifies.”
“The good news is that this can change. We can do something about this. If we create a national guarantee for children that provides a universal entitlement to high quality early childhood development and learning services, we can break these barriers down.”
About Thrive by Five
The Thrive by Five campaign was launched by the Minderoo Foundation’s Nicola Forrest in 2020. It has since been endorsed by more than 100 partner organisations and 100,000 public supporters across Australia.
A brief on its proposed legislation can be accessed here.