Parenting is different to teaching - children need both

In Sydney Morning Herald     6 October 2018

Polly Dunning

As a parent of a toddler, I see every day the benefits of early childhood education and care. I watch my son develop social skills and a sense of independence, the beginnings of literacy and numeracy and most importantly, his curiosity about the world and fascination at all the things there are to learn in it. I am not arrogant enough to take all the credit for this. Of course, we teach him about the world and share his curiosity for it but we must acknowledge the contribution of his teachers.

Read full article


Labor doubles down on preschool plan with vow to waive student fees

Friday 5 October, Sydney Morning Herald      by David Crowe

Labor will ramp up its pitch to families on education policy with a pledge to scrap upfront fees for students who become preschool teachers, escalating a row over a new $1.75 billion plan to help children learn more at a younger age.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will promise to waive upfront fees for 10,000 students who study early childhood education, claiming the move will prepare the workforce for an influx of children into preschools and kindergartens.

read full article in the Sydney Morning Herald 


Want a more capable nation - start younger


Tuesday 9 October, 2018
Ross Gittins, Economics Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald writes:

The older I get, the more unimpressed I become with both sides – all sides – of politics. And the more disdainful I become of people who let loyalty to a particular party determine their support or opposition to particular policies. Don’t think for yourself, just follow your herd of choice.

On the other hand, since I do care about policy, I shouldn’t be slow to give a tick to whatever side is first to come up with a good one. So, two cheers for Bill Shorten for promising to extend universal access to preschool to three-year-olds.

Read the full oped here


Why Labor's plan for preschool is music to the ears of early childhood advocates

Friday 5 October, Women's Agenda

The CEO of The Parenthood, Alys Gagnon, was in the room at Monash University when Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced the ALP National Preschool and Kindy Program, along with educators, teachers and union organisers, sitting side-by-side representatives of the big childcare companies. There were for-profit childcare managers sitting beside CEOs of small community-based early learning centres. There were parents and even a few small children seated in the crowd. 

Read her account in Women's Agenda of the response in the room. 


ALP Preschool Policy - research shows benefits of three year old preschool

Friday 5 October, The Conversation     Professor Allison Elliott


On Thursday (4 October), the Labor party pledged an additional A$1.75 billion for early education if elected the next government of Australia. This is the largest investment in early childhood education in Australian history.

Read the full article in The Conversation by Professor Allison Elliott, Professor of Education at UQ University