Two years of preschool: a lifetime of value
Early childhood education sets children up for life.
Victoria is leading the way on universal access to preschool education, with free kinder for all three- and four-year-olds. Now, we need to see this replicated across the country.
Access to high-quality early years education has come to be recognised as a fundamental human right for children across the world.
Experts agree that the first few years in a child’s life are the most important time for brain development and also key to building good social and emotional skills.
The most transformational policy intervention the federal government could make is to fund two years of preschool, delivered by degree-qualified teachers, for all children.
What do we want to achieve?
We want the federal Albanese government to commit to its share of permanent funding for two full years of preschool for every three and four-year-old child.
What can AEU members do?
Spread the word. Here's a handy campaign fact sheet to share with colleagues, parents and politicians.
If you organise an MP meeting, hurrah! Please use this feedback form to let us know how it went.
Why two years of preschool?
Numerous Australian and international studies show two years of preschool improves children's social and emotional skills, and gives them the knowledge and skills to better succeed in education and in life.
Quality preschool makes a significant, life-long difference to a child's educational and developmental outcomes, especially for those who are vulnerable or disadvantaged.
There are also significant economic benefits to society as a whole, with research showing every dollar invested in early years education returns up to $4 through increased employment, better health and improved life chances.
Two years of preschool is the international standard in developed countries.
The research says two years better than one
The OECD has found that students who attend pre-primary education perform better in school. The benefit of two years of preschool is even higher.
The Mitchell Institute says “moving to universal access to two years of preschool can be an affordable, achievable and effective way for us to achieve greater and more equitable outcomes for Australian children”.
Even the federal government's own review into preschool funding confirmed the overwhelming benefits of two years of early years education with a qualified teacher; and argued that the Commonwealth has a responsibility to provide affordable, accessible access for all three and four-year-olds.