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Australia is still lagging on some aspects of early childhood education

Kate Torii and colleagues write in The Conversation (23.6.17) that the latest OECD report on early learning education and care gives Australia a mixed report card.

‘The OECD’s latest Starting Strong report provides an update on early childhood education opportunities across the developed world, and a fresh insight into how Australian children are faring.

‘The ‘Starting Strong’ series, which began in 2001, provides valuable comparisons and analysis of early childhood education systems, and has been highly influential in the development of early years policy globally. Australian governments drew heavily on this resource in the development of our National Quality Framework and Early Years Learning Framework.

‘… The OECD warns of the potential dangers of a market structure where government is the main funder, yet has limited control over delivery, quality and pricing.

‘On top of this, Australian families also contribute a comparatively high proportion of ECEC funding. In almost half of OECD countries 90% or more of total ECEC expenditure comes from government, while in Australia, 35% comes from families.

‘This iteration of Starting Strong also has a particular focus on the transition from ECEC to the school system. Good transitions are critical to ensuring the benefits of investment in the early years flow on throughout children’s lives.’

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