Turnbull Government Must Not Abandon Kindies

06 August 2018

Reports in the Australian Financial Review today that kindy funding is under threat reveal that the the Turnbull government is completely out-of-touch.

Under Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals, federal funding for kindy was due to run out at the end of this year. Now, they've extended the funding, but only to the end of 2019. 

And today the AFR is reporting that the Turnbull government has said spending on the National Partnership agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education will conclude from June 30, 2020. That's a massive cut - more than $440m.

It's not good enough. Families and kids deserve better.

Universal access funding helps make sure that children have access to at least 15 hours of kindy per week for 40 weeks in the year.

Labor introduced this funding when we were in government. We committed $955 million over five years.

Since the Liberals came to power, they have extended the funding only for one or two years at a time. Now it's clear that they've been doing so because they are planning to walk away from their responsibilities in relation to kindy.

In 2008, before Labor introduced universal access funding for preschool and kindergarten, just 12 per cent of Australian children received 15 hours or more of quality education in the year before school.  By 2012 that figure had risen to over 56 per cent.

Today enrolment rates are well over 90 percent.

Kids who get to do at least fifteen hours of kindy, before they start school, do better at school. The Commonwealth should not shirk its responsibilities to make sure Australians get the best possible start to their education.