VICTORIA BACKS CALL FOR KINDER FUNDING CERTAINTY

The Andrews Labor Government welcomes the Productivity Commission’s recommendation that Tony Abbott commit to funding 15 hours of kindergarten per week.

The report found that 15 hours of kindergarten is essential to boosting preschool participation, supporting children’s development and improving school readiness.

The Labor Government calls on Tony Abbott to provide ongoing and sustainable funding to the sector and end the uncertainty for families who have children due to attend four-year-old kinder next year.

Under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood, the Victorian Government funds 10 hours of kindergarten and the Federal Government funds the additional five hours.

However, the agreement is set to expire at the end of this year, putting the additional hours in doubt for more than 70,000 Victorian children. Further funds are urgently required to ensure all children can access high-quality, affordable early education and care.

When the Prime Minister recently abandoned his paid parental leave scheme in favour of a broader families’ package, the expectation from Victorian families was that childcare would benefit from an increased investment.

The Premier has written to the Prime Minister about the importance of continuing this National Partnership Agreement. Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, has also written to Abbott Government Ministers, urging them to end the uncertainty.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos

“The Andrews Labor Government agrees with the Productivity Commission – 15 hours of kinder is an essential start to life.”

“We are calling on the Prime Minister to provide ongoing funding in his families’ package for 15 hours of kindergarten to end the uncertainty for parents and kinders.”

“We want to make sure all children can access high-quality, affordable early education and care.”