Thursday, 12 April 2018
This week an alliance of 36 organisations in the early childhood sector called on all Australian governments to commit to long term funding for preschool.
This is a wakeup call to the Turnbull Government which has for years treated preschool as an inconvenience.
The Liberals continue to rollover critical preschool funding a year at a time – earlier this year they announced another 12 months of stop-gap funding for 2019 to get them past the next election.
By once again only providing a one year reprieve to four year old preschool, the Turnbull Government have created further uncertainty to the sector and to families.
If the Turnbull Government were serious about providing the best start to school life for our youngest minds, they would provide certainty to this program. The states and territories, educators, providers and families all need to be able to plan ahead – free from worry that the Liberals will pull the rug out from under them.
Unlike the divided and chaotic Turnbull Government, the early childhood is united on this issue, and is calling for certainty for our children.
There is no doubt that access to four year old preschool gives our children the best head start to school and for life. That’s why Labor introduced this program. The Turnbull Government knows this too – yet they won’t commit to long-term funding.
Those in the sector have recognised the progress made from universal access for four year olds and the benefits which have stemmed from this. They also call on governments to look at the benefits of extending access to three year olds.
A one year reprieve for four year old preschool is not good enough for the future of our children.