By granting a one year reprieve for Labor’s Universal Access kindergarten and preschool program to 2018, Malcolm Turnbull has done nothing more than kick the can down the road.
While Labor welcomes this stop-gap funding, it is disappointing the Government has squibbed another opportunity to put preschool and kindergarten programs on a sustainable, long-term footing.
“We know preschool works to prepare children for school and for life,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development Kate Ellis said. “The Government needs to acknowledge this and commit to long-term funding.”
“Kindergartens, preschools and educators are sick of the uncertainty. They deserve so much more than lurching from budget to budget.
“It’s crucial that any changes don’t leave our community, not-for-profit and public preschools worse off.
“This is also yet another missed opportunity to outline the steps towards expanding preschool access to three year olds – coming at a time when compelling international evidence shows children who access two years of play-based preschool are 8 months ahead when they start school.
“It’s concerning that while the rest of the world is extending play-based preschool to three-year-olds, the best Malcom Turnbull can do is keep access to federally funded preschool for four-year-olds open for one more year.”