Parliament – South Australia and preschool

Tuesday, 06 February 2018

Parents and families in South Australia should be very worried by the Minister for Education and Training’s politicking today in South Australia. In a clumsy attempt to insert himself in the South Australian election campaign, the minister has selectively used data to attack four-year-old preschool attendance rates and, worse, use this data as a cover to crab-walk away from his earlier support to fund preschool for three-year-olds. This comes less than a week after the minister quoted the lack of quality data as justification for not providing a long-term funding commitment for a four-year-old preschool program.

We know the minister has previously been supportive of this program and, indeed, he has been speaking publicly about extending preschool to three-year-olds. Of course, don’t let that get in the way of an election campaign in South Australia. The minister for education now wants to play Steven Marshall’s attack dog. He wants to turn up and say that, as a result of the lack of data, we no longer want to fund preschools in South Australia. This is not good enough. The minister for education needs to put children first, he needs to put families first, and he needs to stop playing politics with preschool. He needs to fund it, keep to his commitments and ensure that the children of South Australia get the best possible start to life.

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