Janine Freeman MLALabor Member for Mirrabooka

Your local Labor MP

Labor commits to early childhood policy

Wednesday 05 Oct 2011

When Labor is elected to State Government it will appoint a Minister for Early Childhood, establish children’s centres, ensure funding is available to employ additional child health nurses and trial a program to provide intensive support for vulnerable first-time mothers until their child reaches at least two years of age.


These are just some of the initiatives Labor will use to ensure all children get the basic services they need from birth, as well as additional intervention and support where necessary.


The most crucial time for a child’s development is in the womb and in the years before they start school, and this has a lasting impact on a child’s development, health and wellbeing. Waiting until a child starts school can be too late for them to catch up if they are falling behind.


It is in these early years that the cycle of poverty and dysfunction which leads to poor school outcomes, substance abuse and anti-social and criminal behaviour can begin to be addressed.


The early years of a child’s life are fundamentally important as they form the physical, social and emotional bedrock of human development.


There is also an economic impact of failing to invest in the early years, not just for individual children but for society in the long term.


Money invested in the early stages of a child’s life has been shown to yield three times as much in terms of outcomes as money invested in later years.


WA Labor is committed to ensuring as many children as possible have a fair chance to grow up and become the responsible and contributing members of society they are expected to be.


WA Labor released a discussion paper titled ‘The Health and Happiness of our Children – A new approach for the Early Years’ in November 2010 and in December the same year spokesperson for Early Childhood Years Linda Savage MLC was appointed.


 To see the policy click here