Scott Morrison: don’t cut preschool

Friday, 01 February 2019

BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT

Around 350,000 four years olds across Australia have begun their first steps of early learning in the past week, as they begin kindergarten or preschool.

This is an exciting time for families and their children in 2019.

However, under the Liberals this may be the very last year that 4 year old kids will get the opportunity to access preschool or kindy because Scott Morrison is refusing to fund the program beyond this year.

Scott Morrison has failed to extend preschool funding for four year olds beyond this school year – after his child care changes cut early education from some of Australia’s most vulnerable children.

Our children, parents and providers all rely on this critical funding, and if this cut goes ahead they will be unable to plan for the future, sign long term leases, lock in employment contracts or make budgets for 2020.

For those families with three years olds who are planning to send their children to kindy or preschool next year, under the Liberals they will lose more than $1,200 in funding per child.

Under the Liberals this could mean higher fees for families or lower quality pre-school for our children.

Not only is this funding uncertainty terrible for families, it is also terrible for providers and their staff, who have no guarantee that they will be able to survive after the end of the year.

NUMBER OF KIDS WHO MISS OUT UNDER THE LIBERALS’ CUTS:

  • More than 102,000 in New South Wales
  • More than 98,000 in Victoria
  • Nearly 70,000 in Queensland
  • More than 22,500 in South Australia
  • Nearly 37,300 in Western Australia
  • Nearly 7,300 in Tasmania
  • More than 3,850 in the Northern Territory
  • More than 7,000 in the ACT

Scott Morrison is leaving nearly 350,000 children without access to early education which shows just how out of touch the Liberals are.

In contrast, Labor’s National Preschool and Kindy Program will see the biggest ever in investment for children across Australia and deliver ongoing funding for four year olds and, for the first time, extend this to three year olds.

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.

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 economic future.

Only Labor will give every child the early education opportunities they need for the best start in life.

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Monday, 17 December 2018
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