The latest federal budget again missed the opportunity to expand Commonwealth provision of two years of kindergarten for all Australian children.
Three and four-year-old children currently face real inequities – where they live determines their access to two years of kindergarten and whether or not it is free. The AEU national campaign – Preschool Funding Now! – is focused on getting government to commit to two years of preschool for every child, delivered by a qualified teacher.
In mid-June, the AEU will be hosting a nationwide online forum for members and allies to discuss the benefits of two years of preschool and the campaign actions we need to take. We are also hoping to secure a round table with Education Minister Jason Clare and AEU members.
National and international studies irrefutably confirm the educational, social and economic benefits of investing in two years of funded preschool, delivered by a qualified teacher. This recommendation was also reflected in the recent NOUS review of the Preschool Reform Funding Agreement.
It is time the Commonwealth stepped up to ensure all children across Australia are given access to affordable early childhood education for the two years prior to schooling.