Save the Children supports funding proposal announcement
Save the Children welcomed the announcement by Labor leader Bill Shorten in relation to the extension of Universal Access funding, should a Labor government be elected, saying that the funding commitment will go some way to addressing the barriers to access for vulnerable children, and lift the percentage of three year olds in preschool education.
Calling for national leadership on this issue, Save the Children cited figures from the COAG National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education in November 2008, where the portion of children enrolled in 600 hours of preschool rose from 12 per cent in 2008 to 91 per cent in 2015.
Heather Finlayson, Director of Australian Programs for Save the Children, welcomed the commitment to early years education, terming it an important step forward for Australian children, particularly those most at risk of life-long disadvantage.
“It is distressing and unacceptable that so many children currently miss out on such a life-altering opportunity in a nation like ours. It should be a priority for every government.” Ms Finlayson said.
Save the Children highlighted the importance of every child having access to a qualified educator, and a program of play based learning, outlining that this access can be the difference between a productive and happy life, and a lifetime of dependence and disadvantage.