One-Third of Australian Children Not Getting Enough Preschool Education

June 3, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. oversee / ˌoʊ vərˈsi / (v.) – to examine or supervise something
Example: The school council’s task is to oversee students’ compliance to school policies.

2. run the risk / ˈrʌn ðə rɪsk / (idiom) – to make something possible
Example: Students who break school rules run the risk of being punished.

3. comparable / ˈkɒm pər ə bəl / (adj.) – describing two or more things that have many similarities and can thus be compared
Example: The university’s old building is comparable to a cathedral.

4. resiliency / rɪˈzɪl yən si / (n.) – the ability to return to a better condition after being struck by an illness or a tragedy
Example: Children should learn resiliency early so that they can become stronger adults.

5. prosperity / prɒˈspɛr ɪ ti / (n.) – success characterized by abundance in material things or money
Example: The country achieved prosperity through the collective hard work of its people.

Read the text below.
The Mitchell Institute at Victoria University in Australia reported that 60,000 Australian children are not getting enough hours of preschool education.

In 2012, the Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority, a government body that oversees early education in Australia, recommended at least 15 hours a week of preschool education. This is intended to be done for 40 weeks a year before a child’s primary education. However, a recent report on the current situation of Australia’s early education revealed that about one-third of children are not getting the recommended number of hours, despite most of them being enrolled in preschool.

According to the report, children who did not have enough preschool education run the risk of being behind their peers once they enter primary education. According to Bronwyn Hinz, one of the authors of the report, the benefits of 18 months of quality preschool education during early childhood is comparable to the benefits of six years of primary school.

The early years are considered a critical period for building the foundations of important skills, such as creativity, entrepreneurship, and resiliency. The authors emphasized that if children did not receive the recommended quality of early education, it will have a long-term impact on the country’s future productivity and prosperity.

The authors have called on the government to invest in high-quality early education. Meanwhile, the government has announced that all Australian states have now signed the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, an agreement meant to ensure access to 600 hours of preschool education for all children.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is the importance of giving children quality education at an early age?
·         What do you think are the activities that must be included in an early education program?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some parents or guardians choose to not send their children to preschool?
·         What are the possible alternatives to preschool education if a family chose not to send their child to preschool?

June 3, 2016