This report proposes a Guarantee for Young Children and Families – a new pillar of Australia’s social deal that entitles every child in Australia and their family to:
- Three days free or low-cost quality early education from birth until school, with more days available at minimal cost. This begins as soon as families need it. This means all children will experience the lifelong benefits of quality early education.
- More paid parental leave, shared between partners. This will give babies time with their parents in the crucial first year of life, and it will give families the confidence to balance work and home more easily and equally.
- Support for children and parents from within their community, including up to 25 visits from maternal and child health nurses.
The guarantee will simplify and integrate a currently confusing and expensive array of services and schemes, sharing information, tracking progress, and putting the needs of children and their families at the centre of Australia’s early childhood system.
This ambitious but deeply necessary suite of reforms will take place over a transformative decade, and will involve every level of government, as well as business, unions and civil society.
Delivering the Guarantee for Young Children and Families will build a generation of national prosperity, with lower health and crime bills, rewarding and secure jobs in early childhood education, and greater tax receipts from a smarter, healthier and more capable nation.
But that won’t be the only prize. Worth far more will be the experience of living in an Australia that is the best place in the world to be, and raise, a child.