PRC report to Productivity Commission makes recommendations on early childhood learning

The Parenting Research Centre has made recommendations to the Australian Government Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning. Our recommendations focus on improvements to parenting support, advising that outcomes for children could be significantly improved by an early childhood sector that also extends a positive influence to the early home learning environment and engages and supports parents more effectively.

Our Early Home Learning Study has helped inform these recommendations. This study investigated ways of improving the early home learning environment through collaborations with early childhood services in Victoria. Recommendations were also influenced by our recent analysis of the impact of poor quality jobs on parent mental health and child outcomes and the implications for parent support, based on research data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children research project.

The submission focuses on the potential of early childhood education and care services to optimise children’s early learning and development – in particular, looking at ways to improve outcomes for children vulnerable to poor developmental outcomes.

Six broad recommendations have been made to the Inquiry:

  1. Build capacity for parenting and parent support to families and children who are vulnerable to poor developmental outcomes.
  2. Develop worker skills in engaging parents.
  3. Increase the positive impact of services on the home learning environment with strategies such as modelling and coaching.
  4. Embed online information supports into early childhood services.
  5. Increase workplace flexibility, decrease workplace stress, support employers to have positive and constructive conversations with employees about work-family balance, plus provide access to affordable high quality childcare.
  6. Access 'parent voices’ on early childhood services through Raising Children Network (raisingchildren.net.au) parent forums.

Read more about the submission and our recommendations in our resources section.