Budget documents have revealed that the Turnbull government is withdrawing funding for preschool children, putting preschool at risk for thousands of young children.
The $440 million cut, reported in the Australian Financial review, reveals the government spending on the national Partnership agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education will end from June 30 2020, saving more than $440m. Combing this with also cuts to the Quality Agreement program announced in the May budget will earn savings close half a billion dollars.
Under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, Victorian children aged four receive 15 hours of kinder each week.
Mitchell Institute Megan OConnell said compared to the rest of the world Australia is lagging behind by offering only 1 year of funded preschool for children when 2 years is regarded as international standard.
The Lifting Our Game report highlights that not only is Australia ranked 24 out of 26 OECD nations in terms of its investment in early childhood education, but it is one of just 11 nations worldwide to provide one year of preschool – putting it on par with countries like Angola, Bermuda, Iran and Nigeria.
Preschool children and Preschool educators across Australia are now facing doubts on the viability of preschool. Preschool is an important part of a child's learning as it set them up for school. It will be a missed opportunity for all young children if the funding gets withdrawn.
"Turnbull To Scrap Finder Funding", Premier Of Victoria Media Release, 6 August 2018