17 February 2023

Address to National Early Years Summit, Canberra

G’day everybody, welcome to Parliament House and to the National Early Years Summit – and a big thank you to Amanda and Anne for getting you all together.

I’m really pleased that you’re doing this, because it’s so important for our agenda as a government and as a country.

Getting the early years right is the foundation for so much else in life.

It’s absolutely central to the kind of society we want to build together.

But good early years policy is good economic policy as well – it helps us align our economic and social objectives.

And I’m really passionate about this because when we invest in people early in life, as you know, it delivers long‑term dividends for them, and for our economy and country – stretching right across the generations.

That’s why good early years policy is a priority for our government.

Part of our approach as a new government has been to bring people together around some of the big challenges and opportunities that we’re facing.

That’s what the Albanese government is all about.

That’s what the Jobs and Skills Summit last year was all about.

That’s what this Early Years Summit is all about as well.

We know we don’t hold all the answers ourselves. We know we’re a better government if we’re listening to more people.

And today, that’s where you come in.

You’re here because we need your expertise, your ideas, your values, and the benefit of your lived experiences.

If there are better ways to deliver services – we want to know them.

If there are better ways to deal with the entrenched disadvantage we see in some communities, including the one where I grew up and represent – we want to know it.

If there are better ways to coordinate funding – we want to know that too.

If there are better ways to respond to community needs – we want you to tell us about that too.

And we’re pretty confident that this group holds the answers.

To Amanda and Anne, thanks again so much for your leadership here, and for your work on the Early Years Strategy.

This is a really big day, and it’s a big step forward. I can’t wait to hear about what comes out of your discussions.