Early Years Strategy Submission

May 04, 2023 in Campaigns

Read our submission to the Federal Government's Early Years Strategy #

In Western Australia, an estimated 103,700 children are affected by poverty. Given the economic prosperity of our state it is difficult to reconcile that 17 per cent of children in Western Australia are growing up in poverty with many of these children experiencing food insecurity.

The fact Australia has any child living in poverty is a national shame and a contravention of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child[i] namely: The Government should provide extra money for the children of families in need (Article 26); Children have the right to live a full life. Governments should ensure that children survive and develop healthily (Article 6); and Children have a right to a standard of living that is good enough to meet their physical and mental needs. The Government should help families who cannot afford to provide this (Article 27).

The last Article is contravened daily as waitlist for allied health services for children have blown out to two-four-year waitlists. Some children waiting to see an ear, nose and throat specialist will fall behind in their education, simply because they cannot hear. Without free and universal access to health in that child’s area, that is safe and welcoming for the parent, free from judgment, that child will fall further behind.

It is Centrecare’s view that poverty can, and should, be addressed at both federal and state levels. Advocacy and lobbying by states and territories can effect change at the federal level and this is an important function of state governments.

[i] United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.