Thrive by Five backs AEU call for two years of funded preschool for all Australian children

Thrive by Five backs AEU call for two years of funded preschool for all Australian children

by Freya Lucas

August 06, 2021

Advocacy group Thrive by Five has backed recent calls by the Australian Education Union (AEU) to prioritise investment in two years of preschool for all Australian children after the Union urged the National Cabinet to prioritise investment in the early years.


“This is an important message for the nation’s leaders from Australia’s public teachers, principals and education support staff,” Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said.


The evidence, he continued, is overwhelming. 


“Two years of high-quality, play-based learning at preschool in the years before children start school helps give children a jump start into their education.”


“The Federal Government made that commitment for four-year-olds in the May Budget and we have already seen leadership from some states and territories to make preschool available for three-year-olds as well.”


The next step, Mr Weatherill said, is for the National Cabinet to make this a priority, so that all children in every state and territory can benefit. 


Thrive by Five is also calling for investment in two years of preschool as part of a five point plan for early learning reform for National Cabinet, as outlined below: 


  1. Agree to a new Federal-State Agreement to deliver universal three-year-old preschool across the country to match the agreement in place for four year old preschool.
  2. Lift the childcare subsidy to 95 per cent for all children and set agreed fee caps.
  3. Make the child care subsidy available to all children regardless of the service type and the income or work status of the parents.
  4. Start workforce planning for a universal system and fund appropriate pay and conditions for educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high staff turnover rates across the sector.
  5. To achieve these outcomes, we ask that early education and childcare become a part of the National Cabinet reform agenda to deal with complexities of the system and build a true national universal system.


For more information about Thrive by Five, please see here.