Alliance calls for more action to help Aussie children during
economic recovery and beyond
26 May 2020
The national Every Child campaign is calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to better prioritise the needs of children as part of Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comprising 66 member organisations and spear-headed by The Benevolent Society, the Every Child campaign has set-out six priority actions to build back Australian communities and improve the resilience and quality of life for all children, young people and families.
Every Child’s “Build Back Better” priority actions:
1. Continue the National Cabinet: This mechanism has been highly effective in driving timely decisions that promote economic stimulus and public health. The evidence-based decision-making of federal, state and territory leaders has increased public confidence and social cohesion. We need this co-operation through the COVID-19 recovery and rebuilding stages.
2. Elevate the wellbeing and prosperity of children and young people as a nationbuilding priority: The COVID-19 experience has compounded the hardship and divide in Australia among children. The divide between the children who have access to computers and internet; stable, safe home environments; decent family income, and those that don’t, is stark. We must increase investment in infrastructure for children and young people.
3. Implement an Every Child Support Guarantee: Ensure that every child will have access to quality child care and early learning; education and health services, and a decent home and family income.
4. Large scale national roll-out of Early Years Centres: A flagship program of child and family, health and wellbeing centres that offer integrated health, education, housing, disability, home visitation and related support services in regions across Australia, will improve child development.
5. Invest in a 20-year nation-building Affordable Housing Strategy: Ensure that all children and young people have a secure place to call home.
6. Report annually on a Prosperous Children Report Card: This must feature wellbeing targets for children and young.
“We know that prior to COVID-19, 20% of Australian children were consistently missing out and falling behind in their development milestones before they start school (AIHW, 2020) – this hardship has been compounded by the pandemic crisis,” Every Child campaign CoChair and Benevolent Society executive Dr Kirsty Nowlan said.
“We also know that the cost of late action – of not providing timely support to children and families – has been estimated at $15 billion annually (Teager, Fox & Stafford, 2019). If we want to build a more resilient and prosperous future, we must invest in the wellbeing of children and young people – our future leaders and decision-makers. To build back a better Australia, there is no better investment than the wellbeing of children and young people.
Uniting Communities CEO and Co-Chair, Simon Schrapel AM, said: “All Australian children should have access to quality child care, early learning, education and health services, and a decent home and family income. With a renewed economic focus because of the pandemic, we have an opportunity to help make this happen. This is an important moment to build back a better Australia and this what our action points are aiming to assist with."
“Australia has been an international leader in its COVID-19 response; we can now be a leader in how we manage our post-COVID-19 future to ensure that all children start school ready to learn and leave the education system equipped for life.”
FOR ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES, CONTACT:
The Benevolent Society
M: 0413-995-189 (Jon Abbott)
Every Child is a national advocacy campaign spearheaded by The Benevolent Society that aims to promote the wellbeing of children and young people, and is. We are determined. We know that with strong support, stable relationships, and a safe place to call home every child and young person can thrive. This means supporting families to navigate tough times. We recognise the leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders across the country to advance the interests of their children, young people and families. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are removed from their families at ten times the rate of non-Indigenous children, this is a national shame and Every Child is committed to supporting the self-determination and advocacy work of our First Nations people as they work to ensure their children and young people have the opportunity to grow up well cared for and safe in family and community. Australia's children need us to get this right, and we can.