Albanese appeals to Minister Mitchell to defer decision on Globe Wilkins preschool
Anthony Albanese, Federal Minister for the New South Wales electoral division of Grayndler, has written to NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell to ask her to defer the tender process for the Globe Wilkins Preschool until after the Federal Election in a plight to maintain the service as a council-run with an ‘excellent’ rating.
Globe Wilkins Preschool is significant in that it is the only Council-run preschool in Sydney’s inner west. According to information provided by Globe Wilkins, the preschool has the highest number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children enrolled across all Council Early Learning Centres, alongside the highest number of children who experience a disability enrolled across all Council Early Learning Centres.
The preschool also has the distinction of being the only inner west preschool to receive an “excellent” rating from the Australian Childcare Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), and of being the only preschool in Sydney to have received it more than once.
The preschool has been based on the grounds of Wilkins Public School for 20 years. With a recent increase in enrolments at the school, the NSW Government declined to provide additional infrastructure to accommodate the enrolments, citing the preschool building as “available space” which could be used by the school.
A restricted tender for the preschool – which may result in the preschool being run by a private operator, or the closure of the preschool – has been widely protested by the community, with a “Save Globe Wilkins” campaign launched.
Mr Albanese cited a commitment made by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) to invest $1 million to provide additional classroom space to the preschool on the grounds of Wilkins Public School, should they secure power in the upcoming 18 May election.
The tender process, integral to the future of the preschool “should not be rushed and finalised only days before an election,” Mr Albanese said, describing such a move as unnecessary when a potential solution was being proposed should the ALP secure victory.
“I am asking the new Education Minister to intervene and work with the school community to achieve the common sense solution that Federal Labor’s funding commitment provides,” Mr Albanese said.
Further information about the Globe Wilkins can be found here.