FRIDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 2014
The Abbott Government’s announcement today of temporary 12 month extension to preschool and kindergarten funding only means more uncertainty for families and services.
This stay of execution comes after the Government left families and services in limbo for months by failing to commit to any future funding in the Budget.
“Labor, states and territories, and the community have managed to shame the Government into action, and still the best they can come up with is a 12 month band-aid solution to get past state elections,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Kate Ellis said.
“The Government should not be congratulated for simply continuing the uncertainty it created.
“Funding for 12 months is hardly the certainty families and services need, it’s just kicking the can down the road – the Government needs to genuinely commit to early education.
“This is just more policy on the run from a chaotic Government that still doesn’t know what its priorities are after one year of governing.
“We need a government who actually shows a real commitment to early childhood and kindergarten, not one who only plays politics.”
The Government has announced $1 billion in cuts to child care. Today’s announcement lacks any detail and the Government needs to today rule out adding to the $1 billion of cuts to early childhood that they've already announced to pay for this.
Labor introduced federal funding so children across Australia could access 15 hours of quality kindergarten or preschools education in the year before school.
“Assistant Minister Ley needs to stop spreading rubbish. Labor introduced the funding and has always been absolutely committed to this program. The only one who has placed it in uncertainty is her.”
With overwhelming Australian and international research showing investment in early education improves children’s life outcomes, it’s deeply irresponsible for the Abbott Government to leave our preschools and kindergartens gripped by uncertainty.