A Daley Labor Government will introduce a suite of policies to support early childhood education outcomes across NSW, in addition to the record funding package announced on Monday
A Daley Labor Government will:
Invest $292 million into a ‘Little Kids Big Futures’ fund – driving a massive increase in early childhood education access and participation across NSW. This fund will support communities with critical service gaps, improve access for disadvantaged students, boost mobile preschool services in rural and remote areas, and invest in Playgroups NSW services as a pathway to pre-schooling.
Launching an $18 million ‘Specialist Early Intervention’ trial program – ensuring young children receive the support they need. Increasingly, early education services are crucial to the identification of learning difficulties, disabilities and other health-related issues. This trial program will boost access to allied health professionals such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists, and psychologists for three and four-year-olds in early education.
Starting a $10 million ‘Early Childhood Education Professional Development’ program – providing support and training for early childhood education teachers and educators.
Establishing an additional $15 million capital grants fund – to address critical service gaps throughout NSW increasing access and participation through additional and expanded services.
Boosting funding for assessment and rating experts by $4 million – slashing the Liberal Government’s dangerous assessment and rating backlog. The Government’s failures have led to early childhood education providers waiting more than five years between assessment and rating. Labor will rebuild confidence in the assessment and rating scheme, and support centres to deliver high quality education for students.
NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Kate Washington, said:
“We’ve consulted with the sector and with experts to develop these policies which are focused on improving quality early learning outcomes, increasing access, driving greater participation and reducing fees for families.”
Labor candidate for Lane Cove, Andrew Zbik, welcomed the policy package:
“This is a fantastic Labor commitment to support early childhood education here in [region].”
“Labor will always prioritise education, from preschools, right through to school and our TAFE system.”
“We are proudly putting the education of little ones in [region] before replacing corporate boxes in Sydney stadiums”.
Labor has already committed to saving parents from the “double drop off” by ensuring all new public primary schools have preschool, long day care or out-of-school-hours services on site.
Labor will also establish a Ministerial Advisory Panel with broad sector representation, that will meet at least quarterly; review and improving Before and After-School Care and mobile preschool tender processes; and develop a long-term early childhood education sector road-map in consultation with the sector.