Jenny Macklin visited Lalor today bringing the 15 Hour Best Start campaign to the College Road Kindergarten in Werribee - calling on the Abbott Government to fund kindergartens in their upcoming Budget.
Right now, the Abbott Government is refusing to fund local kindergarten and preschool services from next year.
If Tony Abbott doesn’t fund the program, Wyndham Council is set to lose almost $3million per annum in funding, leaving local kindergartens with no choice but to increase the fees or decrease the hours they offer to children.
Children deserve better than this Government’s funding games, with $390 million in federal funding at risk over the next four years in Victoria alone.
The College Road Kindergarten in Werribee is a fantastic example of the important work of local kindergartens in providing the best start possible for young children.
We know that around 90 per cent of a child’s brain development happens in the first five years of a child’s life and Australian studies show children who attend preschool or kindergarten go on to score significantly better in primary school.
This is exactly why Labor introduced federal funding for kindergartens and preschools in 2009, enrolments have climbed from 69.5 per cent nationally in 2008 to 90.9 per cent in 2013.
On top of this, the proportion of children receiving 15 hours per week or more of kindergarten or preschool has increased dramatically over the same period from 23 per cent to 82 per cent.
This is an incredibly successful program. It’s complete madness by the Abbott Government to stop funding these programs.
Local residents are encouraged to sign the petition at www.15hourbeststart.org.au and help ensure our children continue to have the best transition to school possible.