International and Critical Perspectives
Edited by James Midgley, Espen Dahl and Amy Conley Wright
Chapter 2: Social investment in early childhood in Australia
This chapter by Amy Conley Wright discusses social investment in early childhood in Australia. She presents arguments for social investment in young children and potential benefits for families, children and the broader society. The chapter then examines the Australian national early childhood development strategy, called Investing in the Early Years (Council of Australian Government, 2009) to analyse strengths, gaps and challenges. This strategy is designed to promote the best possible outcomes for children, and by extension the nation. Policies in the areas of early childhood care and education, social transfers and parental leave are described and contextualized through a comparison with averages provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to identify strengths, gaps and challenges. Key words: social investment, international social welfare, early childhood, Australia
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