The National Early Literacy and Language Coalition represents a broad cross-section of stakeholders in the sector, working together to progress a National Early Literacy and Language Strategy.

Every child in Australia deserves equitable access to education and it starts in the early years.

Every child in Australia deserves equitable access to education and it starts in the early years.

National Early Language & Literacy Strategy

What’s needed

Early literacy programs in the home, in early childhood centres, in libraries, through other community organisations, have the potential to lift levels of early language and literacy.

These programs already exist and are funded by state, territory and local governments, by corporate sponsors and philanthropic donors. We also have a strong network of allied health professionals, including speech pathologists, who assist children and families to stay on track.

By contrast with other countries, including the UK, US and Canada, where there is a national early literacy agenda, in Australia there is no federal acknowledgement of this as a priority area. As a result, and despite the best efforts of organisations in the field, programs tend to operate in silos and we are not achieving the benefits of a joined up approach.

There would be significant outcomes for Australia if the federal government were to:


  • recognise the importance of the issue at a national level
  • position improvements in early language and literacy as the basis for the nation’s innovation agenda
  • acknowledge and promote successful programs in order to share best practice
  • encourage further adoption of remedies in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors
  • support research and evidence-based practice.

As an Australian Speech-Language Pathologist, I am worried about the WELL DOCUMENTED psychological, social, educational, and vocational effects on people trying to survive in the modern world with LOW LEVELS OF LITERACY (reading, writing, spelling, comprehension) and/or compromised LANGUAGE SKILLS. The situation is particularly dire in Indigenous Australia, and it is my Federal Government’s responsibility to develop an EARLY LANGUAGE and LITERACY national strategy, based on sound, recent, peer reviewed and published research.


Funding Partner

The project has the support of the Ian Potter Foundation, which provided funding for a three-year project “Early Language and Literacy: Reviewing the evidence, good practice guidance, and developing a national strategy project”, and a subsequent “Impact Engagement Grant” to support momentum and interest around the proposed strategy.

For more information contact info@earlylanguageandliteracy.org.au