Excerpts from the report:
This paper presents a framework for a National Agenda for Early Childhood (the National Agenda) in recognition that issues affecting young children are of national importance. The National Agenda has a vision for Australia as a place where young children are valued and have equal opportunities to be all they can be, now and into the future. The framework sets out an ambitious aim, a series of goals, and principles for taking the National Agenda forward, and key action areas as a basis for developing policy and programs for children 0-5 years. It also provides an overarching structure for linking together and expanding the work that governments, service providers, non-government organisations, academics, communities and families are already doing to improve the lives of children.
The National Agenda does not seek to be prescriptive or alter traditional areas of Australian Government and state and territory government responsibility in early childhood. Instead it proposes a holistic way of thinking about children at the centre of broader social and economic environments and a general approach for working more efficiently and collaboratively towards achieving better child outcomes. There was widespread support for this approach during extensive consultations on the National Agenda held between March and August 2003.
This framework has been developed as the basis for discussions with state and territory governments on the key elements of the National Agenda, with the purpose of gaining commitment to taking the National Agenda forward. Following this further consultation, the current framework document will be developed into a public statement of the National Agenda with refinement of what we hope to achieve, what the priorities are for working together, roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders, and how it will work.