As you think about how to cast your vote Saturday, consider our children and young people.
As you think about how to cast your vote Saturday, consider our children and young people. iStock

Our votes set kids' futures, so choose wisely

EARLY learning - everyone benefits. Our children don't vote, but they really do matter.

These are messages that an alliance of more than 20 education, research and advocacy groups focused on supporting children and families want us to remember.

As you think about how to cast your vote on Saturday, put children and young people first.

As an early childhood educator and researcher, there are two significant areas of reform - action on climate change and policies that benefit our very young children.

We need governments shifting to clean energy so that our planet and our children have a future. We need our next government to step up and act.

Our next government needs to get behind children and families. Early learning transforms children's lives.

Supporting the early years through policy and quality education is a foundation for success, not only for children, but for their families, communities and our whole country.

The Grattan Institute, an Australian public policy think tank not aligned with any political party, confirms that Labor's childcare policy will substantially boost Australia's economic growth.

So, for readers interested in the economy, not just social justice and wellbeing, this is important reform.

Labor's focus on increasing the childcare subsidy for many families and increasing early childhood educators' pay is "the most important economic reform being proposed in this election”, according to Grattan chief executive John Daley.

Countries around the world are investing in early childhood education because it is known to be the most successful way to propel wellbeing and wealth for all.

Quality play-based early childhood programs set children up for success throughout their lives.

And these benefits are the greatest for children experiencing disadvantage.

Every child, no matter where they live, whether their parents work, or how much their parents earn, deserves the opportunity to reach his or her potential.

Labor's commitment to universal access to two years of kindergarten and improving early educators' pay and conditions is important.

Staff in early childhood are among our lowest-paid Australians - yet it is the early years where kids get set up for learning and life.

Use your vote to support children's futures.

They are relying on us.