The Best Start, Best Life reforms are critically important for children.
The evidence behind the reforms is clear—2 years of quality early childhood education and expanded hours in the year before school can improve children’s life outcomes.
For all children, accessing quality early childhood education is an irreplaceable opportunity to help them thrive while they are young and develop the skills they need to succeed later in school and life. This is true for all children and especially those needing additional support.
We are committed to working with the sector as we embark on this ten-year journey, which is why we have consulted with early childhood education professionals, unions, early childhood experts, service providers, local governments and parents and carers about how best to deliver the reforms. The reforms will be stronger because of the many voices we have heard and learnt from, and the many partners working together to make them a reality.
We heard strong endorsement of our vision for high quality education that supports all children to thrive.
We also heard that by making it easier for parents to work or study, the reforms will support families' financial security and women's financial independence, which will in turn benefit children.
There is a shared desire to make it easier for all families and children to access and meaningfully participate in kindergarten programs. We are committed to working with Aboriginal stakeholders and communities to advance self-determination in the implementation of the reforms. We are prioritising the inclusion of children with additional needs in the design of the reforms, and supporting families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to engage in early childhood education.
As well as providing benefits for families and children, the reforms are highlighting the enormous capability of our teachers and educators. I want to thank Victoria’s existing early childhood workforce for their skill and professionalism, and warmly welcome the new teachers and educators joining the sector.
I look forward to continuing to work together as we deliver the best possible outcomes for Victorian children.
Hon Lizzie Blandthorn MP
Minister for Children