WA Liberals announce ambitious plan for early learning ahead of March election
The West Australian Liberal party recently announced an ambitious plan, to invest more than $53 million to boost early childhood education across the state, should the party secure power at the next election, currently scheduled for 13 March 2021.
Included within the spend are plans to build an extra 10 Child and Parent Centres and to introduce face-to-face speech pathology services directly into government schools for the first time.
The commitment, WA Liberal leader Zak Kirkup said, is part of a plan to boost educational outcomes for all West Australians by investing in the early years.
“We’re committed to giving our children the best possible start in life and having a package of early learning initiatives that are supported by both parents and experts will form an important part of their educational journey,” he added.
Alongside the additional Child and Parent Centres, the Party pledged to develop a Play Based Learning Strategy and to invest in music education.
Shadow Minister for Education and Training Donna Faragher said the plan was an investment in the future of young West Australians.
“We know the early years are critical for a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development,” Mrs Faragher said.
“Research indicates that the teaching and nurturing young children receive during their first years of life significantly increases their likelihood of future success, so it is vital we support them with the appropriate investment.”
The Liberals’ $53 million Early Childhood Learning Policy also includes:
- An additional $10 million to expand the Playground Equipment and Shade Structures Program to $2 million per annum and an increase in the maximum grant amount from $25,000 to $30,000 to provide more support to schools over five years.
- An immediate reversal of the McGowan Labor Government’s decision to increase the enrolment threshold for community kindergartens to access grant funding and staff.
- A full reinstatement of Department of Education funding to the WA Gould League. This will support the continued operation of the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre which provides significant education programmes to school children every year.
- A review of the current exemption requirements and process to the school starting age with the aim of providing greater clarity, consistency and transparency for parents.
- This early learning package will be complemented by the $76 million commitment to expand school psychology services which includes an additional 100 school psychologists in government schools announced as part of the Liberals’ mental health plan.
For more information about the WA Liberal Party, please see here.