Why early learning?
More than 80% of a child’s brain development happens before they start school. International evidence shows a child’s cognitive, emotional and social skills is hugely affected by these first formative years.
Children who have access to early learning see long-lasting benefits through their schooling and beyond to later life.
Foundations for life
80 per cent of brain development occurs before a child is three years old. By the age of four, 92 per cent of the brain is formed. Early learning helps children reach their potential. Children who access early education, on average, perform better on academic and achievement metrics for years to come.
Early learning is important for a child’s social development. Studies show children who access early learning gain a more developed self-concept sooner and rank higher on measures of empathy and relationship-bulding than those who don’t have access. Through contact with more people, including parents, carers, family members, school staff, as well as with their peers, children learn about the social world and about the rules, practices and values that support it.
Studies show children who access early education are less likely to develop mental health issues, are more emotionally resilient and more adaptable to changing environments. As children grow and are exposed to different situations, they’re able to learn to recognise their own emotions and the emotions of others, and eventually learn how to regulate these emotions in a productive and healthy way.
Building strong communities
Supporting vulnerable students
One in five students begin school developmentally vulnerable. Early education helps prevent this. Children who attend early education are a third less likely to start school behind.
Driving the innovation economy
Investing in childcare adds 20,000 workers to the workforce and boosts GDP. The jobs of the future will require well-educated problem solvers. Australia needs a smart and skilled workforce to be globally competitive.