Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

CHILDREN IN VICTORIA SET TO BENEFIT FROM EXTENSION OF PRESCHOOL ACCESS TO 3 YEAR OLDS

A Shorten Labor Government’s two year National Preschool and Kindy Program will see a $386 million investment for children in Victoria over the forward estimates.
 
Last week Labor announced our plans to extend preschool access to three year olds and commit to ongoing funding for four year old preschool.
 
This is the biggest ever investment in early education for children.
 
Under our plan, over the forward estimates in Victoria alone, from the year 2021 - 128,000 three year olds will be able to access 15 hours of subsidised care.
 
Unlike the Liberals, there is no further funding from the Morrison Government to fund four year old preschool beyond next year. Annually this leaves around 5,348 preschoolers in Lalor in the dark.
 
In stark contrast, Labor’s National Preschool and Kindy Program will provide ongoing funding for four year olds from the year 2020. This is funding certainty for 224,000 four year old Victorian preschoolers from the year 2020, over the forward estimates.
 
Labor’s plan is good for Victorian children, good for parents, and good for the economy:

  • Children - Studies have shown that children who access quality early education achieve better results in tests throughout their schooling. Early education is particularly vital in closing the disadvantage gap before a child starts school. Labor’s plan will see around 340,000 three year olds and a similar number of four year olds able to access preschool every year.
  • Parents – One of the biggest barriers to accessing early education is finance – expanding access will help with the cost of living, help parents balance work and family and help reduce the child care bill for families with children already in early education.
  • Economy – evidence shows that the return on investment in early childhood education is significant. A recent study form the EU showed that for every dollar spent on early childhood education for 3 year olds, $4 was returned to the economy. 

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.
 
So out of touch is the Liberal Government, they have also left 1 in 4 families worse off under their new child care system across the Lalor electorate.
 
This is another kick in the guts for families in Lalor who are struggling with flat wages growth, and facing massive hikes in their electricity, education and health bills.
 
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.
 
Only Labor will give every child the early education opportunities they need for the best start in life.
 
TUESDAY, 9 OCTOBER 2018

Authorised by Noah Carroll, ALP, Canberra


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