Today’s announcement that the Turnbull Government will extend preschool funding to the end of 2018 won’t end the sector’s long-term uncertainty.
AEU acting federal president Meredith Peace said Malcolm Turnbull needed to make a long-term commitment to funding 15 hours of preschool for every four-year-old.
"Quality early childhood education sets students up to succeed. What preschools around the country need is long-term investment and funding certainty,” Peace said.
Today's announcement means preschools and their staff will breathe a short sigh of relief, but it does not give them certainty they need to plan for new programs and population growth.
“Evidence overwhelmingly shows the value of investing in preschool and giving children a head start to their education.
“Preschool prepares children for success. It means they start school prepared for learning and thriving. Children who attend preschool start schooling with a bigger vocabulary, stronger basic skills and better learning habits.
“The funding of 15 hours of four-year-old preschool has been a huge success and it needs to be made permanent.
“There is no reason why preschools cannot be given the same long-term Federal Government funding as other government programs, rather than continually leaving the sector hanging.
“The AEU has fought hard for preschool funding through our Protect Our Preschools campaign, and I want to thank all the supporters who have put pressure on the Federal Government to extend this funding.
“The Protect Our Preschools campaign last week delivered 14,000 individually-signed postcards, and a petition with over 5000 signatures, to Minister Birmingham’s office calling on him to deliver ongoing funding to preschools."