Australia Rates Highly in International Study
The Commonwealth’s Quality Assurance System for childcare is one of the strengths identified in an international study into the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector.
The recent release of the OECD Country Note, Early Childhood Education and Care in Australia highlights the considerable progress in the ECEC sector in recent years.
The Australian Country Note forms part of the OECD Thematic Review of Early Childhood Education and Care, in which 12 OECD countries participated.
Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson and Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Mr Larry Anthony, said the report showcased many positive initiatives being undertaken in Australia including:
- Innovation and integration of services to assist in improving transitions between ECEC and school;
- The provision of sustained and targeted funding toward Indigenous education, economic, and health programmes;
- The Quality Improvement and Accreditation System (QIAS) for long day care. The QIAS provides some objectivity in assessing the care and education of young children; and
- The introduction of the Child Care Benefit which has improved affordability for low-income families.
Both Dr Nelson and Mr Anthony stressed that cooperation between the Commonwealth and State/Territory Departments responsible for early childhood programmes and services would be a crucial factor in successfully furthering quality care for under five year olds.
Australia’s participation in the Review was jointly funded by the Commonwealth Departments of Family and Community Services and the former Education, Training and Youth Affairs.