Text reads: Children and young people with disability.

Thrive by Five Early Learning and Disability Communiqué

A little girl with Down Syndrome wearing a white shirt and pigtails, giving a double thumbs up with a gummy smile. To the left is the Thrive by Five Mindaroo Foundation logo. Below, text reads: "The Thrive by Five early learning and disability communique."



All children deserve a high quality, affordable early education and care system that is universally accessible.

But the current early education and care system is not working for children with disability and neurodiverse profiles.

That is why on the 26th July 2023, more than 200 people, including young people with disability, families, caregivers, educators, advocates, public servants, disability service providers, practitioners, researchers, experts and academics came together and called for a truly inclusive, universally accessible early learning and childcare system that would set these children up to reach their full potential.

Together, we call on State, Territory and Federal Governments to deliver an early learning system that can support children with disability and developmental needs from birth and set them up for the rest of their lives, by:

  • Investing in, and working with, Aboriginal community-controlled services to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with disability are supported in culturally appropriate early education and care settings.

  • Integrating health and disability support services, like speech pathology and occupational therapy with early education and care centres, to reduce barriers for children to receive the support they need in familiar settings, allowing them to develop and maintain strong and meaningful connections with other children.

  • Providing additional training and resources to early childhood educators and early learning centres, so that they are better able to identify and assist children with early developmental differences, and create environments that will support children and their families to thrive in the long-term.

  • Implementing greater collaboration between the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and early education and care sector to ensure children and families have consistent and clear support in their local communities.

  • The early education and care system urgently needs reform because the NDIS by itself cannot do all the heavy lifting for children with disability.

The early education and care system urgently needs reform because the NDIS by itself cannot do all the heavy lifting for children with disability.

Endorsed by:

Logos for the 40 organisations supporting the Thrive by Five Communique.
  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia
  • Connect Ed
  • Telethon Kids Institute
  • Down Syndrome Australia
  • People with Disability Australia
  • Royal Far West
  • Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
  • IEU
  • The Parenthood
  • Global Access Partners
  • Child Australia
  • Centre for Research in Early Childhood Education
  • All Means All
  • Bourke and District Children’s Services
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence
  • Benevolent Society
  • EESA
  • Be Centre
  • Association for Children with Disability
  • Hopscotch Foundation
  • Council for Intellectual Disability
  • ECIA
  • Northern Tasmanian Early Years Group
  • SUFY
  • Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Healthy Trajectories
  • Preci
  • Maternal, Child & Family Health Nurses Australia
  • Plumtree
  • Her Place
  • Contact Inc.
  • The Y Western Australia