A Daley Labor Government will expand funding to cover every three and four-year-old in early childhood education in NSW, as part of a $500 million package jointly funded with Federal Labor, the single largest investment in early childhood education in the state’s history.
Labor is addressing years of neglect by the Berejiklian Liberal and National Government, a legacy that has left the NSW early education system last in the class.
According to the latest Productivity Commission report, in early education NSW spends the least per child, has the lowest participation rates, and the highest fees.
Labor will immediately increase the funding for three-year-olds in community preschools, doubling the Berejiklian Government’s proposed funding for 2019-20. This will reduce fees paid by families and increase the services on offer. Three-year-olds currently only receive one quarter of the funding that four-year-olds receive in community preschools.
Labor will fund three-year-olds in Long Day Care centres for the first time – and double the total funding for three and four-year-olds – allowing providers to reduce fees, increase wages, and improve quality learning outcomes.
NSW Labor Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Kate Washington, announced the expansion:
“Participation in a preschool program, whether in a community preschool or long day care centre, is the strong foundation needed for success in school and in later life.”
“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 extend government support for early childhood education to all three and four year olds here in Lane Cove.”
“We are proudly putting the education of our little ones before replacing corporate boxes in Sydney stadiums”.
The Berejiklian Liberal and National Government has a long list of failures across the early education sector, with NSW having both the highest fees and lowest participation rates in the country.
Experts agree that early childhood is one of the most crucial periods for a child’s learning and development.
Labor will ensure that young children are given the best chance of success in these vital years.