ALP universal access proposal “transformational”: ELACCA
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) has termed the Australian Labor Party’s commitment to delivering two years of early childhood education for all three and four year old Australian children as “transformational”.
“We welcome the commitment to provide secure, long-term funding for preschool programs for four year olds delivered in long day care centre, preschools and kindergartens, and are excited about the commitment to extend access to three year olds from 2021,” a statement from the ELACCA said.
ELACCA also said that it was confident of the capacity of the early childhood sector to offer quality placement for three year olds.
On announcing ALP’s commitment, ALP Leader Bill Shorten said that, thanks to Labor’s proposed funding, early childhood education would take its place as the fourth pillar of Australia’s educational system, alongside schools, TAFE and university.
“An early start from age three can give a child the equivalent of a six month developmental advantage when they start school and sets them up for later learning. We particularly welcome the recognition of early childhood education as the foundational ‘fourth pillar’ of the education system.”
The ELACCA, whose members provide more than 2,000 preschools, kindergartens and log day care centres in Australia, said that the early childhood sector had leveraged resources to work with the government to make access for four year olds a reality – and it could do the same again.
“This announcement is a game changer for children and families right across the nation,” the ELACCA said.