The Australian government is developing an Early Years Strategy to shape its vision for the future of Australia’s children and their families.
The Strategy will help the government better support the education, wellbeing and development of Australia’s children.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) ran a public consultation to help make sure the Strategy will work for all Australian children and their families.
DSS released a Discussion Paper and asked for people and organisations to give their feedback. The Discussion Paper is also available in Easy Read and Auslan. You can read it here: https://engage.dss.gov.au/early-years-strategy/early-years-strategy-discussion-paper/
There will be more public consultations for the design of the Strategy in the future. You can subscribe here for updates: https://www.dss.gov.au/families-and-children-programs-services-early-years-strategy/subscribe-for-updates-on-the-early-years-strategy
Inclusion Australia made a submission highlighting some important principles and policy areas that we think the Strategy should target. For example, we recommended the Strategy should:
- Be inclusive of children with an intellectual disability and their families, as well as parents with an intellectual disability
- Continue to make public consultations accessible for people with an intellectual disability
- Support evidence-based and accessible antenatal education for parents who may be having a child with a disability, as well as parents with an intellectual disability
- Address the overrepresentation of parents with an intellectual disability in the child protection system
- Acknowledge and, over time, work to end the over-reliance on segregated settings and special programs for children with an intellectual disability
You can read our submission in full below.