The Morrison Government has once again refused to guarantee ongoing funding for Universal Access of 15 hours per week of preschool for all three and four-year-old children in Australia at today’s COAG meeting.
While Australia only offers one year of early childhood education (ECE), most countries around the world offer their children two years of preschool as standard.
Australian Education Union Federal President Correna Haythorpe said that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s failure to guarantee funding for two years of ECE, following today’s COAG meeting, had once again failed to provide certainty for parents and enable future workforce planning for teachers and other ECE professionals.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ignored another golden opportunity to give Australian children the same start to their education that most other children around the world already receive,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“Today’s COAG meeting communique paid lip service to supporting early childhood education, however in real terms today’s announcement was a major policy failing.”
“Mr Morrison is throwing away billions of dollars of economic and societal benefits by refusing to bring Australia up to even the minimum preschool standards offered by most other countries,” Ms Haythorpe said.
Ms Haythorpe also criticised Mr Morrison’s silence on the future of TAFE following today’s COAG meeting.
“This week we have heard the Prime Minister talk up the importance of TAFE, yet today’s COAG statement on vocational education is conspicuously silent about the future of TAFE as the public vocational education provider,” Ms Haythorpe said.
“This is very concerning, especially following the Federal Coalition’s previous $3 billion cut in funding to TAFE.”
“It’s hypocritical of Mr Morrison to speak about the value of TAFE and of early childhood education and yet fail to commit the essential funding needed for each sector.”
“It’s time for the Morrison Government to commit to more funding for TAFE and for ECE to benefit all Australians,” Ms Haythorpe said.