Thursday, 04 October 2018
A Shorten Labor Government will introduce a new two year National Preschool and Kindy Program, guaranteeing around 700,000 Australian children a year will be able to access subsidised preschool.
This is the biggest ever investment in early childhood education in Australia.
For the first time, every three year old in Australia will be able to access 15 hours of subsidised early childhood education, so they can get the best start to learning.
Labor will also extend the current arrangement for four year olds accessing preschool – creating a quality, two-year program to support the most important years of a child’s development, an investment of an additional $1.75 billion into early education.
90% of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life – an investment in early education is one of the smartest investments our country can make.
Labor’s plan is good for children, good for parents, and good for the economy:
Labor’s universal access to preschool scheme for four year olds has laid the groundwork for this announcement – since the first agreement was signed by Labor in 2008, preschool enrolment for four year olds has increased from 77% to between 93-97%.
But more needs to be done. Our global competitors have recognised the value of a two-year early childhood education program, and it’s time Australia gets on board, before we fall further behind.
The United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Ireland and China have all expanded their early childhood education programs to include three year olds.
Currently, Scott Morrison has failed to extend preschool funding for four year olds beyond next school year – after his child care changes cut early education from some of Australia’s most vulnerable children.
The Liberals see education as a cost – that’s why they’ve cut $14 billion from public schools and left preschool funding in limbo. Labor sees it as an investment in our collective future.
Labor will work in partnership with the states and territories to deliver this important reform, including in setting enrolment and attendance targets, particularly for Indigenous and vulnerable children.
We’ve made tough and overdue decisions to rein in unfair tax concessions that predominantly benefit the wealthy – including negative gearing reform and dividend imputation reform – so we can fund the priorities that will make a fairer and more successful nation.
Only Labor will give every child the early education opportunities they need for the best start in life.