ALP pledges fee waiver for 10,000 early education TAFE students
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) plans to scrap upfront fees for 10,000 early education students studying at TAFE, if elected to government.
The announcement is part of Labor’s plan for a National Preschool and Kindy Program, announced earlier this week, that would give every child in Australia access to two years of quality childhood education.
A release from Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development Amanda Rishworth said “With 90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurring in the first five years of a child’s life, early educators have a critical role in supporting our children’s growth.”
The ALP also stated that the demand for early childhood education workers is significant: almost 300,000 more children will need an early education and care place in 2019-20 than in 2016-17.
The commitment to waiving upfront fees for 10,000 early education TAFE courses, follows Labor’s announcement earlier this year that it would waive upfront fees for 100,000 students to attend TAFE. The 10,000 places committed to early education would form part of the 100,000. In addition, at least 200 of these places go to indigenous students seeking qualifications in early childhood education.
The party said that the 10,000 TAFE places for early education students would be supported by Labor’s plan to uncap university places, which would see 200,000 more Australians get a university education, and ensure there are no barriers for students wishing to study to become bachelor qualified early childhood teachers – delivering the national preschool and kindy program to three and four year olds.
“We’ve made sensible, overdue reforms so that we can invest in things like education and training – so that we can hand on a better deal for the next generation,” the ALP statement said.