On Thursday 21st of February, Big Fat Smile was a part of the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) launch event for the Launch into Learning campaign, at the National Press Club in Canberra.
We were represented by our CEO Jenni Hutchins who is also Co-chair of ELACCA; Natalie Malcolm, Operations Manager; Michele Peden, Pedagogical Thinker In Residence; David Campbell, our Board Chair; Louise Meyrick, one of our Board members; Dr Cathrine Nielsen-Hewitt, a University Of Wollongong Academic and others.
The National Press Club was full and the room silent, whilst Dr Stacey Fox and Professor Adrian Piccoli outlined the argument for two years of early learning and care prior to school. As a member of its peak body, Big Fat Smile signed up to a number of areas of agreement. The Launch into Learning initiative aims to lobby Government to provide significant investment, to ensure all children have access to attend two years of quality early learning before they begin primary school.
As an organisation Big Fat Smile is proud of our ongoing commitment to children, families and communities, in fact our vision is – “We enrich the lives and minds of our children and families in their communities.” Being a part of industry advocacy and leadership to improve early education is a key focus in the strategic direction of our organisation.
Speaking about the campaign launch Jenni said, “With the NSW election fast approaching our leaders are listening more carefully than ever – we have a unique opportunity to have our voices heard to make a real difference to the future of our children. Join us! Sign the petition and spread the word to your friends and families.” Sign the petition here
Why has Big Fat Smile signed on to be a part of Launch into Learning?
- We know that 1 in 5 children start school behind their peers
- This doubles to two in five when we are talking about our indigenous children
- The birth to five period is a time of critical brain development
- We have the opportunity to change the trajectory of a child’s life by establishing their learning pathway
- Australia is behind peer nations who already provide this for children
- Children are important – to us, to our families, to our future
Next month all of us who live in NSW will be heading out to vote in the State election – Here’s our ask of the politicians in this country:
- Significant investment to ensure all children attend two years of quality early learning before they begin primary school
- Better support for children experiencing disadvantage or vulnerability to ensure they attend 600 hours of quality preschool programs
- Fixing the Child Care Subsidy so that it supports all children’s access to preschool programs
- A workforce plan for Australia to have sufficient highly trained early childhood teachers and educators – who are well paid and respected
- An ongoing commitment to the National Quality Framework
What can you do?
- Join the campaign by signing the petition here, it takes just ten seconds: https://launchintolearning.com.au/
- Read this Sydney Morning Herald article to learn more: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/push-to-secure-early-learning-for-all-3-and-4-year-olds-in-nsw-20190220-p50z4z.html
- Talk to your friends and families about the importance of early learning and care to their children and their learning trajectory – some parents feel guilty about their children going to early learning and care. This information is an enabler for parents and carers.