AEU welcomes Government commitment to preschool funding but wants more info on policy
The Australian Education Union (AEU) has welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to four years of funding for preschool for four-year-olds announced in this week’s 2021/22 Budget, but has questioned how the underpinning policy in relation to the funding will play out.
“This is a significant win for preschool teachers and educators, parents and early learning advocates who have been campaigning for long term preschool funding arrangements for eight years,” AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said.
“Sadly, the previous eight years of temporary, year-by-year funding arrangements has seen Australia fall behind the rest of the world where two years of preschool in the years before a child starts school is already the gold standard.”
Funding for preschool in the year before a child starts school, she continued, is an important step towards the ultimate goal of universally accessible and high quality early learning for all children.
“The evidence is very clear, children who have access to two years of high quality preschool delivered by a qualified teacher start school ready to learn and have a stronger foundation for their future beyond school,” she added.
“However, the AEU will be seeking more information about the Federal Government’s policy settings attached to this funding.”
“We will continue to call on the Federal Government to fund 15 hours of preschool per week for Australian children in the two years before school.”
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