Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner welcomes national Early Years Strategy

Australia’s National Children’s Commissioner Anne Hollonds has welcomed the Commonwealth Government’s new Early Years Strategy as an important step towards prioritising the wellbeing of Australia’s children.

Commissioner Hollonds said: “The Early Years Strategy will be an opportunity for cross-portfolio systems reform, recognising that children and their families do not exist in one policy silo. Rather, their needs stretch across numerous portfolios including health, education, social services, Indigenous affairs, and others.”

Commissioner Hollonds has been appointed to the Advisory Panel that will advise on development of the Government’s Early Years Strategy. The Strategy is being led by Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth and Minister for Early Childhood Education and Youth, Dr Anne Aly.

“Child and family policy is extremely complex, and real reform has long been neglected because of this complexity and the barriers to implementing recommendations from decades of Royal Commissions and inquiries,” Commissioner Hollonds said.

“Australia ranks a low 32nd out of 38 OECD countries on child wellbeing. We have lacked a sense of urgency for systems reform for child health, development, learning and wellbeing.

“We now have an opportunity to prioritise child wellbeing and begin a long-term process of redesigning the systems that are failing our children and their families, especially those living with disadvantage.”

A National Early Years Summit will be held in February 2023, bringing together leaders from across sectors, as well as stakeholders and industry experts.

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