At today’s education ministers’ meeting, the Turnbull Government has again failed to give any funding certainty for Australia’s successful four year old preschool program – raising serious questions about what will happen when the current funding allocation runs out at the end of next year.
This comes even after Simon Birmingham recently claimed credit for talking-up the extension of preschool programs to three year olds.
"I've been speaking publicly about extending preschool to three year olds for nearly a year.”
[Simon Birmingham, 31 October 2016]
“On the one hand, the Turnbull government is paying lip service to the importance of expanding early education, but on the other they’ve thrown funding for existing programs into serious doubt,” Kate Ellis, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development, said.
“Labor has long led the way in improving early education in Australia. We established the national four year old preschool program in 2009, took a commitment to examine capacity constraints and implementation issues for three year old preschool to the last election and I recently addressed the Press Club about the importance of expanding access to early education.
“The simple fact is that we will not be able to turn around the slide in our school results unless we make sure fewer children start school behind.
“Simon Birmingham is the best placed person in the country to do something about providing certainty to preschools, kindergartens and parents and its time he backed up his words with actions.”