In this bonus episode, Jeni Whalan hosts a discussion on the recent commitments from both NSW and Victoria to deliver a year of universal play-based learning for children in the year before they start school. As well as transforming early childhood education, the goal is to build the sector workforce and further boost productivity by better supporting working parents. Leslie Loble, the co-chair of the Council on Early Childhood Development and Amanda Robbins, Managing Director of Equity Economics, outline the significance of the announcement and what it’s going to take to deliver this ‘triple dividend’ over the next ten years.
In this bonus episode, hosts Jeni Whalan and Glyn Davis examine the insights gained across this season of conversations about putting children at the centre of good public policy. They discuss the frustrating gap between knowledge and action when it comes to shifting the dial towards more positive outcomes for all kids. Without political leadership, meaningful consultation and targeted, place-based responses, many well-intentioned measures fail to make an impact. So is there now enough momentum to bring about real change?
We also hear from young people from the Northern Rivers region of NSW who, on top of pandemic disruptions, have also had to cope with devastating floods. Mullumbimby’s Spaghetti Circus, an arts and community engagement organisation, was inundated with water and mud. Members of the Circus community lost their homes, schools and businesses. Performers, Ellen, Maxine, Malaika and Laima share their hopes and fears for the future.
‘Never again’ were words that echoed around the world in the wake of the second world war. Organisations were formed with the explicit aim of respecting and promoting international cooperation, aid and development. Only a few decades later, we have seen the first increase in poverty for a generation. Why? And why does inequality, conflict, and the impact of natural disasters still have such a disproportionate impact on children, especially those forced to leave the countries they call home?
Kevin Watkins has spent his career speaking up for marginalised people in some of the world’s poorest countries. As a former CEO of Save the Children UK, and now as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics, he gives a scathing assessment of global leadership and calls for a return to the ideals of mutual responsibility to deliver a better and more sustainable future. But there’s also cause for hope as young people find their voice, organise across borders, and speak truth to power in greater numbers.
In an excerpt from The Wait podcast, we also hear what it’s like for child refugees like Marzia Yosufi and Sara Rezaei. Now young women, they have spent years marking time in Indonesia, waiting for a chance to be resettled and to be able to continue their education, and their childhood. This excerpt contains references to suicide, so please listen with care.
With thanks to: Kevin Watkins, Marzia Yosufi, Sara Rezaei.