Calls for Early Action On Social Problems
29 April 2013 at 1:28 pm
New research released by welfare Not for Profit, the Benevolent Society shows that nine out of 10 people believe it's important for Governments to invest more in acting early to support families with young children to prevent problems and save the community money in the long term.
The national survey found regardless of income level, location and family circumstances, people believe it’s important to get in early to tackle issues emerging for children, young people and their families, before they become more difficult to fix and more expensive for the community.
“In the debate about how to make our national Budget more sustainable long?term, our political and business leaders need to look at the economic benefits of investing early to prevent or reduce costly social problems and build the capacity of people to contribute to the growth of the economy,” Benevolent Society CEO Anne Hollonds said.
“Research from the US has found that disadvantaged children who participated in preschool education and whose families received extra parenting support, were more likely to finish school, find higher paying jobs and less likely to be involved in crime by the time they were 40, than children who did not get extra support.
“The earlier we act, the greater the return on investment for the community,” Hollonds said.
More than half those surveyed said they would be more likely to vote for a political party that promised a strong commitment to investing in early action to prevent or reduce the impact and cost of social problems in the longer term. More than 70% of those aged 25 ?34 said it would affect their vote.
“The community is telling our political leaders that there are votes in addressing this issue people understand that “prevention is better than cure” and research shows that investing in prevention and early action improves lives and costs the community less in the long term. It is common sense, it makes economic sense and it should make political sense,” Hollonds said.
“Earlier this month it was revealed how poorly we are performing at school readiness for five year olds. A staggering 22% of all children and 43% of Indigenous children are classed as developmentally vulnerable when they start school. This is unacceptable in a country like Australia and we can do better than this.
“We need to see a commitment by all parties to long?term planning and investment in family support and education in the early years to prevent or reduce costly social problems. If we don’t invest now, we will all pay much more later.”