Posted on 10. Feb, 2015 in News
The Abbott Government must commit to continuing funding for 15 hours of kindergarten for Victoria’s children.
In a rush late last year, the Federal Government extended the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education by just twelve months.
Under the Agreement, the Victorian Government funds 10 hours of kindergarten and the Federal Government funds the additional five hours.
However, the Agreement is set to expire at the end of this year, putting these additional hours in doubt for more than 70,000 Victorian children each year.
It is also causing significant uncertainty for the sector, with kindergartens already planning their budgets, timetables, enrolments and staffing needs for 2016.
The former Liberal Government didn’t fight hard enough for Victorian kids, settling for a one-year extension in the lead up to the state election, instead of trying to secure an ongoing commitment.
The Premier has written to the Prime Minister about the importance of continuing this National Partnership Agreement.
In 2015, almost all (99.9 per cent) of Victoria’s 2168 kindergartens are providing children with 15 hours of quality, teacher-led preschool education in the vital year before school, showing how in demand this additional support is.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“Victoria needs an ongoing, sustainable funding agreement with the Federal Government to ensure our kids can continue to access 15 hours of kindergarten beyond this year.”
“This endless uncertainty is not good for kinders, not good for parents, and most certainly not good for kids who stand to lose if this Agreement isn’t extended.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos
“15 hours of kindergarten makes a real difference to how children develop and grow, and to how they fare at school.”
“Victorian kindergarten services – and our passionate and hardworking kindergarten teachers – need certainty as soon as possible.”