Over at The Conversation, Brad Farrant has looked at the latest COAG report on the National Education Agreement objectives.

“In order to provide due recognition and respect for Indigenous culture our measures, policies and practices must also be sensitive and responsive. We need to ensure that our early childhood development and education programs are culturally appropriate and ready for all children. This effort could also profit from having a close look at what is driving the success in other countries such as Norway.

We know what needs to be done in the area of early childhood education. But unfortunately, we are seeing government policies go in the opposite direction.”

As with a number of reports recently (including Australia’s Welfare 2013, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare), the COAG report points to some gains across broad objectives.

But, as ever, Indigenous children are still well behind their peers. Farrant argues that greater investment in early education is the best way to close this gap.

COAG’s next meeting will be the first test of the new Government’s attitude to the early education sector.

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