Dear ECMS families
I’m thrilled you’ve chosen an ECMS kindergarten or childcare centre for your child. And I hope you and your child are feeling settled into your ECMS centre and excited about the year ahead.
Participating in your child’s early learning program
We recognise that providing opportunities for you to take part in your child's early learning community is both rewarding for you and will amplify your child’s learning. There are plenty of ways you can get involved this year. We outline some of these here.
One way you can contribute is by joining your centre’s Parent Activity Group (PAG). PAGs are a new model of parent engagement, launched across our centres last year. PAGs provide parents with practical ways to support their children’s learning, social networking and connections with the community in and around the centre.
See what some of our families and educators love about the PAG model in this video.
If you’re interested in finding out more about joining a PAG, please speak to your child’s educators.
Advocating for improved outcomes for children and families
Along with empowering families in their role, ECMS has long been committed to advocating to all levels of government for changes to early childhood education and care funding that will benefit Australian children and families.
With this in mind, we welcomed the recent release of the Lifting our Game report, which was commissioned by state and territory governments. The report outlines 17 recommendations to governments to achieve educational excellence in Australian schools through early childhood interventions.
Key recommendations included:
1. extending universal access to quality kindergarten to all three-year-olds, with access prioritised for disadvantaged children, families and communities
2. promoting and supporting participation in quality early childhood education programs by all three and four-year-olds, in particular, maximising participation by vulnerable or disadvantaged children
3. working towards early childhood education investment reaching at least the OECD average, as a proportion of GDP
4. promoting the importance of quality early learning to the wider community
5. educating and empowering parents in their role as a child’s first educator.
I look forward to seeing how our governments respond to these recommendations in the coming months. We’ll keep you updated on any early childhood policy changes and the progress of our advocacy work. In the meantime, I invite you to pledge your support for quality early childhood education by following the Early Learning - Everyone Benefits campaign on Facebook. This national advocacy campaign, which ECMS proudly sponsors, aims to promote the benefits of quality early learning and secure political commitment to increase early childhood education and care access and funding.