Abbott Government must commit to 15 hours of pre-school per week

15 August 2014

The Abbott Government must not be allowed to abandon the agreement with State and Territory Governments to ensure 15 hours of pre-school per week for every four-year old in Australia, the Australian Education Union said today.

AEU Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said ripping money out of early childhood education would hurt thousands of young children, and lead to loss of jobs.

“This issue will be discussed by ministers at today’s Ministerial Council, and we are calling on the Abbott Government not to walk away from ensuring 15 hours of pre-school per week for every four-year old,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

“Current funding ends on December 31st of this year, and the uncertainty is causing confusion for parents and pre-schools trying to plan for 2015.

“Research shows that this is a crucial time in a child’s educational and social development and the investment in quality early childhood education will pay huge dividends for all of us in the future.

“Quality early childhood education means that children are better prepared to start school and gives them a head start on their education.

“Cutting funding at this stage in the early childhood education reform process would see many thousands of young children denied the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“The Abbott Government has already cut schools funding by abandoning Gonski agreements, as well as making cuts to universities.

“Tony Abbott seems determined to cut resources from every part of the education system, regardless of the impact on children.

“The Government will not admit that our education system needs to be properly resourced if it is to deliver the best results, and ensure every child has a chance to reach their potential.

“State and Territory Governments have already indicated they will be unable to continue with 15 hours of pre-school for all children if the Federal Government does not fund its share.”

Media Contact: Ben Ruse 0437 971 291