The case for change

The first 5 years are vital

Investing in the first 5 years of life will help every child reach their potential and create a better future for NSW.

The first 5 years of a child’s life are vital for their health, development, learning and wellbeing.

Children who participate in quality early childhood education and care – and who get the right support services such as health and development checks – are more likely to succeed at school and have improved lifelong educational, social and economic outcomes.

It is not just children and families that benefit – investing at this stage of a child’s life saves billions of dollars for the economy*.

Children need to be on track to learn

We need to turn the tide on children’s educational and developmental outcomes.

The 2021 Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) found that over 44% of NSW children are not developmentally on track when they start school, and the challenge has become even harder since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Not being developmentally on track can have significant and lifelong consequences for a child. Delayed help and support also create a significant economic cost to society, particularly for the health, education, community service and justice sectors.

Early learning should be affordable and accessible

Families want more affordable and accessible early childhood education and care.

The cost of early childhood education and care is keeping too many parents from working, or forcing them to work less than they want or need to**. This means that many children are also missing out.

Infographic disposable income and affordability Infographic disposable income and affordability
Image: For illustrative purposes only

A skilled workforce is key

Investing in the early learning workforce is essential.

Children benefit from early childhood education and care when they participate in quality services led by skilled teachers and educators. This is why our investment in early childhood educators and teachers is so important.

* PwC, (2014), Putting a value on early childhood education and care in Australia,

** K Noble & P Hurley (2021), Counting the cost to families: Accessing childcare affordability in Australia; The Front Project (2021). Work and play: Understanding how Australian families experience early childhood education and care

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