Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, today thanked early learning organisations, local government and parents after the Abbott Government offered funding for 15 hours of kindergarten for Victorian four year olds.
The offer follows a long period of lobbying, after the Abbott Government refused to commit to the 15 hours of kindergarten to support children’s development and improve school readiness, as found by the Productivity Commission.
Ms Mikakos said that while the offer is a win, it’s disappointing that the Abbott Government did not commit to providing ongoing funding, instead only committing to funding its share of kindergarten for two more years.
Ms Mikakos urged the Federal Government to sign an ongoing funding agreement for early years education and end the uncertainty that will return to worry the sector when the funding expires in 2017.
Under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, Victoria funds 10 hours of four-year old kindergarten per week and the Federal Government pays for five hours.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos
“Today is a victory for parents and early learning organisations. Through their support and strong voices we’ve saved 15 hours of kindergarten, which is what our kids need.”
“While a two year funding offer is an improvement upon last year’s one-year reprieve, it just delays the uncertainty about the future of kinder funding until 2017.”
“If the Abbott Government was genuine about providing high-quality early childhood education, it would agree to an ongoing funding agreement.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020