Georgie Dent

Early childhood education: pathways to social and economic reform

Australia lags the developed world in educational outcomes, child wellbeing, women’s workforce participation and gender equity.

All this could be changed by creating a comprehensive and effective early childhood education and child care system. This would mean:

  1. Children would not be at risk of falling behind when they start at school
  2. Impediments to women’s labor force participation and career advancement would be greatly reduced

Inaccessible or unaffordable early childhood education and care adversely affects the daily lives of countless families.

In this presentation, Georgie Dent will explore why this policy transformation answers – at once – a number of Australia’s most pressing economic and social challenges.

About Georgie Dent

Georgie Dent is a writer, author, former lawyer and leading advocate for women’s empowerment, gender equality and families. She is the executive director of The Parenthood, a not-for-profit advocacy organisation representing 72,000 parents and carers around Australia, and a contributing editor of Women’s Agenda.
She is a regular television commentator on The Drum, The Project, The Today Show, ABC Breakfast News and has appeared on Q&A, Weekend Sunrise, Studio 10 and Sky News. Her best-selling memoir, Breaking Badly, was published by Affirm Press in May 2019. She lives in Sydney with her husband and their three daughters.

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Dr Jen Skattebol

10 June 2021

COVID-19 and its effects on children & young people

As we take a rear-vision view of the lock-downs of 2020, we know now that substantial inequalities opened up as our schools and early childhood centres closed. Families were unequally prepared for the challenge of teaching their children at home.

It was hard on children to be socially isolated, to learn online, and some children were confined to home environments that were not always safe. Many simply vanished from the school system and have not returned. All these experiences cast a shadow forward from 2020 into the future.

Teenagers have also faced a loss of work and earning opportunities. At a time when social engagement is so important, most are still learning online at TAFE and Universities.

Where will this new-normal take us? What social policies are required to ameliorate the problems that have been created?

About the speaker

Introduction by Margaret Vickers

Dr Jennifer Skattebol, Dip Ed (EC), B.Ed., PhD, is a Senior Research Fellow at SPRC, UNSW Sydney. She has worked extensively with government and non-government bodies on issues related to early years education, child and youth poverty and how service systems might better meet the needs of these young Australians and their families.

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