Safe, fun and child focussed spaces create opportunities for children to:
- make new friends
- learn, play and thrive
- build confidence and independence
- develop their language and social skills
- establish routines
- prepare for school
Early learning leads to improved educational and life outcomes for children.
Research has shown that children who engage in quality early learning are less likely to need extra support in school and are more likely to go on to complete Year 12.
- Read a report from the UK Government Department of Education about How pre-school influences children and young people’s attainment and developmental outcomes over time (PDF, 722KB).
- Read the Lifting Our Game report published by the Victorian Government.
What is early learning?
Early learning refers to education and care programs for children in the early years. These programs play an important role in children’s development. Qualified early childhood educators deliver early learning programs.
Offering quality early learning environments for children to play and learn is important. Quality early learning isn’t just about the toys and displays in the room. It includes the rich, trusting relationships between children and educators.
Early childhood educators work in partnership with families. This allows them to get to know each child and to create opportunities for them to take part.
Visit the Starting Blocks website for more information on early learning in Australia.
Why is early learning important?
Children are natural learners and their education begins at birth. Parents and family are the first and most influential teachers for children.
The early years of life are the period of greatest brain development. Building a strong, healthy brain in the early years sets a child up for life. Respectful and trusting relationships between children and caregivers help to give children the foundations they need to grow strong, healthy brains. Together with children’s parents and families, early childhood educators can create rich early learning opportunities for children.
When children do not receive the support they need, this can put their health and development at risk. Targeted early learning programs, such as Working Together, help children who may otherwise miss out on the support they need, to thrive. Working Together tailors support for each child and family, based on their needs.