FAMILIES will have access to 15 hours of preschool learning a week thanks to a massive boost in funding announced by the Nationals’ Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack.
Mr McCormack said the funding would ensure preschoolers had access to 15 hours a week of quality early learning in the year before they started school.
“My three children had a great start to their education thanks to their preschool days so I know how important it is for our youngsters to have the best preparation possible for when they go to ‘big school’,” Mr McCormack said.
“This $3.06 million for the 2428 preschoolers in Riverina and Central West gives certainty for families and children.
“It means children in the year before school will continue to have access to 15 hours of preschool a week (600 hours a year) in 2019.”
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government had extended the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.
“Between our $427.8 million this year and $440 million in 2019 for preschool as well as our overhaul of the child care system and $2.5 billion extra investment, the Turnbull Government’s commitment to early childhood education and care and is clear,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The challenge we now need to confront is that for all of the funding support, more than a quarter of children enrolled for preschool aren’t attending for the full 15 hours.
“That means some children in the earliest years of education are starting behind the pack.
“States must find ways to motivate the parents of educationally vulnerable preschoolers to both enrol and attend, otherwise we risk a lost generation of children who start school too far behind their counterparts.
“This extension of the National Partnership gives us time to work through these issues and develop an enduring policy beyond 2019 that ensures children are not just enrolling, but attending and benefiting from preschool programs in readiness for school.”

Ken Grimson