The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch congratulates the Andrews government on the announcement of expanded preschool programs for Victorian children in the two years before they start school.
Expanded preschool will make a world of difference for Victoria's youngest learners.
AEU Victorian branch president Meredith Peace described the changes as a fundamental improvement to Victoria’s public education system.
“Our members have been campaigning for fully government funded and expanded preschool for decades. The investment in additional preschool hours, free kindergarten and new early learning centres to be built on school sites will improve Victoria’s already nation-leading early learning system.
“The early years are the most important opportunity we have to set children up for life. Young children learn and develop an enormous range of critical foundational skills in the years before they start school, including physical motor skills, a sense of self and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity and effective communication. All of these skills have been shown to predict children’s later outcomes in health, well-being and academic success.
“All the evidence shows that children who attend at least two years of preschool achieve better learning outcomes at school, stay at school longer, are more likely to attend TAFE and university, and participate in the workforce.
“With more hours of high quality early learning, taught by qualified early childhood teachers, Victorian children will have better opportunities to reach their potential and thrive,” Ms Peace said.
The AEU looks forward to working with the state government on these exciting initiatives and to ensure the teaching profession is appropriately consulted on and supported in the roll out of the new and expanded programs.
In particular, the AEU will be active to ensure the state government takes the necessary steps to develop the workforce needed to deliver the many thousands of additional teachers and educators required.
“The state government’s investment must include bold commitments to provide thousands of scholarships and guaranteed employment to attract new teachers and educators to ensure preschools are appropriately staffed without compromising on quality education provision.”
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16 June 2022