From the expansive outback to the lively coastal towns, Queensland is known for its diverse landscape. But for children in the Isaac Region (which includes the communities of Moranbah and Dysart), accessing the critical foundation of high-quality early learning can feel like navigating a rugged terrain. This blog delves into the importance of early years education and highlights the disparities faced by children in regional Queensland, calling for action to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive.

Early Learning: The Cornerstone of Success:

Research paints a clear picture: quality early learning programs are not just childminding, they are investments in a child’s future. Studies show that children who participate in these programs are more likely to:

  • Excel in school with better academic performance and higher graduation rates.
  • Develop strong social and emotional skills, leading to increased self-regulation and positive interactions with others.
  • Experience improved cognitive development, laying the groundwork for lifelong learning and critical thinking.

More than 80% of a child’s brain development occurs by the age of five, making these early years a crucial window of opportunity. Access to stimulating environments, qualified educators, and enriching experiences during this critical stage has lasting impacts on a child’s future trajectory.

A Stark Reality in the Isaac Region:

However, for children in the Isaac Region, reality paints a different picture. Compared to the Queensland and Australian averages, a higher proportion of children are considered vulnerable across key developmental domains like language, communication, and social-emotional skills. This data reveals a disparity in access to quality early learning, potentially impacting the future opportunities and success of these young minds.*

*source: Australian Early Development Census 2021.

A Collective Effort:

Ensuring every child in regional Queensland has the chance to thrive requires a multifaceted approach:

  • Increased investment: Funding and resources are needed to create more early learning places and attract qualified educators to regional areas.
  • Innovative solutions: Bringing the community together to think outside the box and consider a wide array of options is vital. 
  • Community collaboration: Partnerships between local businesses, government agencies, and community organisations can foster creative solutions and support families.
  • Raising awareness: Advocating for the importance of early learning and the challenges faced by regional communities is essential to garner support and drive change.

Giving Every Child a Chance:

Early learning is not a privilege, it’s a right. By working together, we can bridge the opportunity gap and ensure that children in regional Queensland have access to the high-quality early learning experiences they deserve. This investment in their future is not just about giving them a fair shot, it’s about strengthening our communities and building a brighter tomorrow for all of Queensland.