AEU calls on Federal Government to invest in 3yo preschool saying evidence is clear

AEU calls on Federal Government to invest in 3yo preschool saying evidence is clear

by Freya Lucas

November 30, 2021

Ahead of the Federal election, the Australian Education Union (AEU) is continuing to call on the Federal Government to invest in two years of early education for all Australian children before they start school.


“The evidence is clear. Children have the best opportunity to reach their full potential when they have at least two years of high-quality, play-based learning in the years prior to school,” AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said. 


“Importantly, preschool education must be delivered by qualified and professional early childhood teachers. By investing in three-year-old preschool, governments are investing in the future of our nation.”


Ms Haythorpe pointed to evidence which shows that children who attend preschool for two years are shown to do better at school, to stay at school longer, to be more likely to continue their education beyond school and to be employed in the workforce.


Modelling conducted in 2019 by PwC shows that for every dollar invested in preschool, Australia receives a dividend of twice that over the life of a child.


The AEU has been calling for the Federal Government to extend preschool funding to three-year-olds for many years, noting that investment in three year old preschool programs is considered best practice internationally. OECD data shows that other nations “have long recognised the value of investment in two years of high-quality early learning”.


Victoria and the ACT are considered to be nation leaders when it comes to making an investment in two years of early learning, with SA Labor also committing to make an investment in three-year-old preschool should it secure power. 


To learn more about the documented value of two years of early learning please see here