Tasmanian Government reaffirms strong commitment to early learning in 2019/20 Budget
The Tasmanian Government has reconfirmed its strong commitment to early childhood education and care (ECEC) in its 2019/20 state budget with a comprehensive set of policy initiatives that will continue to ensure more families and children are able to access quality early learning across the state.
Budget lines for ECEC sit within the broader Department of Education budget which has a continued focus on the key areas of education infrastructure, investing in the education workforce and supporting students who otherwise may find it difficult to access education.
From an ECEC perspective the budget saw funds allocated to the following key initiatives:
- 6 new early learning facilities – $15.5m has been allocated over four years to build six new Child and Family Learning centres, with six years of operational funding also provided. These sites will provide access to services for families with young children, including health support,outreach, and ECEC facilities. The ECEC facilities will be provided through partnerships with the sector and will be located in Sorell, Kingborough, Glenorchy, East Tamar, West Ulverstone and Waratah-Wynyard.
- Free pre school for 3 year olds – $8m has been allocated to fund the “Working Together for Three Year Olds” initiative which will be delivered in partnership with the ECEC sector. The initiative is designed to encourage broader participation in early education. Once implemented in 2020, a further $10.5 million will be provided to support free pre-school for disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
- Additional teacher assistant support in year before school programs – The budget also reaffirmed an ongoing commitment to provide additional teacher assistant support into the year before school programs. The support will be equivalent to 80 full time equivalent teaching assistants and will commence in 2020.
- NQS assessment and rating for Government Kindergartens – Additional funding of $410,000 has been allocated to help fund the Government’s commitment to have all Government Kindergarten’s assessed against the National Quality Standard from 2020. $2.7 million over four years has been provided for the initiative.
Jeremy Rockliff, MP for Braddon, is Minister for Education and Training as well as Infrastructure and Advanced Manufacturing and Defence Industries. Mr Rockliff is also Deputy Premier.