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Stay up-to-date on the latest news in education from across the world. Find information on how top performers are approaching education policy, funding, and more. Check back every Friday for new stories.

1. Canada Invests in National Childcare Program

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced that Canada will invest CAN$30 billion (US$23.9 billion) over five years to create a national childcare program. A national plan has been long promised, and is intended to help female employment recover after the coronavirus pandemic. Freeland noted that 鈥溾ithout childcare, parents鈥攗sually mothers鈥攃an鈥檛 work.鈥澨 The national funds will cover half of the costs of the program while provinces are expected to cover the rest. For more, see .

Canada Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland
Canada Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland

2. England: Pandemic Measures Impact Young Children鈥檚 Language Acquisition

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A survey of four- and five-year-old students and primary schools across England has found that an increased number of children entering primary school in 2020 were delayed in language development. The survey of 50,000 students and 58 primary schools was conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation. It found that the measures taken to reduce spread of coronavirus鈥攔educed contact with grandparents, no play dates, wearing masks in public鈥攈ave deprived the youngest children of social contact and experiences essential to growing vocabulary and communication skills. Among the students surveyed, an extra 20-25 percent needed help with language skills compared with the previous year. Additionally, many families did not receive the face-to-face assessments their children would normally have received to identify speech and language difficulties early. In response to the survey results, Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford pointed to the 拢18 million (US$25 million) the government has invested this year to support language development in the early years, part of the 拢700 million (US$976 million) package to provide extra support to children who need it as they return to the classroom. Read more at

3. China鈥檚 Ministry of Education Reduces the Amount of Homework for Students

China鈥檚 Ministry of Education has released a new policy to reduce the amount of time students spend on homework. Schools are forbidden from assigning homework to those in grades 1 and 2, and guidance suggests that students in older grades should spend between one hour and 90 minutes on homework per night. Private afterschool programs are also banned from assigning additional homework. In the past, students in many provinces have suffered from stress and burnout as a result of excessive workload. The Ministry鈥檚 new policy is in line with other recent policies to promote student wellbeing and more holistic development. Read more .

ChinaStudentComputer

4. Australia Updates National Curriculum to Emphasize Fundamentals and Cultural Diversity

ACARA Chair Belinda Robinson
ACARA Chair Belinda Robinson

A draft of the national curriculum was released by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) this week. The revision scales back humanities subjects and shifts emphasis toward problem solving in math and inquiry learning in science. Primary school curriculum is also pared back to emphasize fundamentals of literacy and numeracy. The updated framework emphasizes three cross-curriculum priorities鈥擜boriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia鈥檚 engagement with Asia, and sustainability鈥攖o be intertwined with all eight core subjects. ACARA Chair Belinda Robinson said the new curriculum seeks to 鈥…equip (students) with the knowledge and skills they need to be confident and creative individuals, life long learners, and active and informed members of communities.鈥 Critics of the new curriculum are concerned that core content has been cut and that there is an overemphasis on multiculturalism. Proponents are excited that students will engage with 鈥渒ey challenges in the civics and citizenship field,鈥 such as the systemic exclusion of First Nations people throughout Australia鈥檚 history. Read more at and .听