WEDNESDAY, 30 JULY 2014
The Abbott Government has left Townsville families in limbo by refusing to confirm Federal kindergarten funding for next year.
Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, visited the Vickers Road Child Care Centre in Condon, which relies on Federal funding to deliver high quality kindergarten for local children.
The Abbott Government is refusing to guarantee Federal kindergarten funding for next year, which currently ensures four-year-olds can access 15 hours of education in the year before school.
“Without this Federal money, kindergarten hours will be slashed, fees will rise and services could be forced to close their doors,” Kate Ellis said.
“The Government is refusing to give local families certainty, despite the Productivity Commission last week warning the Federal Government against cuts to kindergarten funding.”
“It’s absolutely not fair that local families and services don’t have certainty for funding for next year which is now just a few months away,” Senator McLucas said.
“Kindergartens aren’t able to take enrolments, or to draw up their budget for next year, and parents are left in limbo not knowing whether they will be able to go back to work or not.”
Australian and international research has proven that children who attend kindergarten go on to score significantly better in Year Three NAPLAN tests and Year Four reading, maths and science.
“The high return on investment for quality kindergarten proves that cutting this funding won’t just affect these families, but will have long term implications for our economy and society in general,” Senator McLucas said.
In 2008, before Labor introduced Universal Access funding for preschool, just 12 per cent of Australian children received 15 hours or more of quality education in the year before school. In 2012 that figure had risen to over 56 per cent.
“Without this funding Tony Abbott looks set to return us to the situation we had under the Howard Government – where just 1 in 10 Australian children has access to 15 hours of preschool per week,” Kate Ellis said.