GOVERNMENT MUST LISTEN TO EXPERTS ON INDIGENOUS EARLY EDUCATION

Labor is calling on the Government to listen to early childhood development experts and abandon their flawed changes to Indigenous early education.

Malcolm Turnbull has again been warned today that pressing ahead with plans to end the Budget Based Funded program would be a major setback for Indigenous children.

“It will fail… It is a really important and urgent message that we want to give to the Government”
[Professor Fiona Stanley, University of Western Australia, 13 August 2016]

This comes after a Deloitte Access Economics earlier this year found walking away for direct support for services will disadvantage Indigenous children:

  • 54 per cent of families will face an average fee increase of $4.40 an hour.
  • 40 per cent of families will have their access to early education reduced.
  • Over two thirds of services will have their funding cut.

“The Government needs to urgently listen to the experts and guarantee no Indigenous children will be worse off,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development, Kate Ellis, said.

“It’s an absolute fantasy to think services in small and remote communities can stay open under a mainstream model.

"In every state, Indigenous children have a below-average participation rate in early education. If we are going to close the gap we need more places, not higher fees and rules that push children out.

“Despite all his talk about innovation, Malcolm Turnbull just doesn’t seem to get the fundamentals - a fair society and a strong economy depend on making sure all children get a quality early childhood education.”

In contrast to the Government, Labor took to the election a policy to increase places, improve quality and upgraded facilities at Indigenous Budget Based Funded services. Labor also committed to reversing the Government’s cuts to Indigenous Child and Family Centres.