500 signatures reached
To: Acting Federal Minister for Education Stuart Robert
Fund Our Future
It’s time for the Federal Government to permanently fund our kindergartens through Universal Access funding and provide certainty for the early childhood sector.
Universal Access funding is essential for our kindergartens.
That funding ensures that all Australian children have access to 15 hours per week of early childhood education in the year before the commencement of school.
However that funding is currently only allocated until the end of 2022.
The Federal Government has failed to make a permanent commitment to Universal Access funding, instead drip feeding funding and leaving children, parents and employees in perpetual uncertainty.
It is crucial the Federal Government understands that investment in early childhood education is not optional.
It’s time for the Federal Government to Fund Our Future!
Why is this important?
Access to early childhood education means that our next generation of Australians get the best start to life.
Research has identified indisputable evidence of the positive effect that quality early childhood education has on children’s ongoing learning and development.
As the union for workers in the early childhood education sector in Queensland and the Northern Territory, our members know firsthand the difference that quality early childhood education means for our students and the community.
The importance of early childhood education as a driver for immediate and long-term economic development was recognised by the Productivity Commission in October 2014, yet for the last three years the Federal Government has provided no real commitment or certainty when it comes to funding.
As it is, Australia currently provides less than a quarter of the OECD average expenditure on early childhood education, when measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Such funding was also recommended in the recent Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) final review report which found the short-term nature of the UANP has adversely affected the efficiency of funding arrangements in that it has led to cautious decision-making about investment in programs and in staffing.
In the absence of recurrent funding a five-year cycle, as recommended by the report, is the minimum which will ensure the continued existence of quality early childhood education.