Lifting Our Game, a report by Susan Pascoe AM and Professor Deborah Brennan, provides governments with a blueprint for the future direction of early education and care, Journalist Sue Osborne writes.
The report was jointly commissioned by all state and territory governments who wanted research carried out into early childhood education to match the Gonski Review into school education.
“It’s unusual for all states and territories to collectively commission a piece of work, so that’s important to note,” Brennan said.
“The states and territories wanted research that would review evidence about the impact of the early years on school education and also on outcomes later in life, like employment and health,” she said.
“The report makes the case that the international evidence that education begins at birth is so compelling Australia needs to ‘lift its game’.
“If we want to improve school outcomes we have to begin with the early years.”
The states and territories asked for the report to examine the most effective things Australia could do to improve education in the early years or educational outcomes in the early years, to improve school readiness and other outcomes. There is a focus in the report on disadvantaged and vulnerable children, and what needs to be done at the foundation levels for those children, although the report is not just about that group. It also looks at the return on investment.