As Australians, there is perhaps no value we cherish more than the value of a fair go. It's a promise from the Australian people to the Australian people that we will all have the chance to succeed. But you don't need me to tell you that we have not always delivered on this promise. We live in an unequal society that breeds unequal outcomes, a country where your circumstances sadly do determine the course of your life. This inequality starts right from the early years. Too many families and children are being left behind because our early learning and childcare system is confusing, inaccessible and unaffordable. Families and children are locked out of that system based on where they live, how much they work and how much they earn. There are additional barriers for children with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children from multicultural backgrounds. There are shortages of early childhood educators and teachers. Many of those who remain feel overworked and underpaid. It is clear that urgent action is needed because children and families - and our nation - cannot afford to wait. This is precisely why Minderoo Foundation's Thrive by Five campaign, which is backed by a community of more than 100,000 parents, carers and educators from across Australia, is proposing a bold vision for our early learning and care system: The implementation of a nationally legislated body that oversees the rollout of a universally accessible and affordable early learning system, with fees capped at $10 per day, for three days a week. This desperately needed reform will ensure that families and children across the country are able to access the life-changing benefits of high-quality early learning, regardless of their circumstances. It will really help with the cost of living. It will give our kids the head start they need. It will get parents back to work, especially women. We find ourselves in a unique moment, when the calls for change have never been louder and the reasons have never been more powerful. READ MORE: We have the opportunity to deliver something significant that will have a real impact on the lives of millions of Australians and we must seize it. This is systemic change with intergenerational benefits. The steps we take today will determine what Australian society looks like in the future. Not long after we launched the Thrive by Five campaign, Minderoo Foundation co-chair Nicola Forrest and I went to Canberra. She said: "Our future welfare prosperity and success as a nation depends on our newborns - and ensuring that every single one of them grows up to be kind, capable, productive and resilient." Three years on and the imperative for reform is even greater. Never in all my years in public life have I seen a public policy which so squarely addresses so many of the contemporary social and economic issues facing our nation. With a high quality, universally accessible, affordable early learning system, we can ensure that we live up to our ambitious Australian value of a fair go, right from the start.