The Australian Education Union Victorian Branch says today’s announcement by the Andrews Government to introduce 15 hours of preschool education for all three-year-old children will pay huge dividends for Victoria in the short and long term.
“This is a historic investment in our youngest learners,” said Justin Mullaly, Deputy President of the Australian Education Union Victorian Branch.
“The AEU is absolutely delighted that the Andrews Government is funding preschool for all three-year olds. This is the single biggest investment in preschool education we have seen in Victoria.
“AEU members and parents have campaigned for many years for universal access to preschool for three and four-year-olds because the evidence shows investing in early childhood education pays dividends. Preschool sets children up for a life of learning. Children start school as more confident learners when they have access to two years of quality preschool education.
“On a global level, Australia is behind many other countries when it comes to preschool education. Only 48 percent of Victorian three-year-olds participate in preschool, when the OECD average is nearly 70 percent. This investment in our youngest learners will bring us in line with other education systems around the world by increasing participation.
“85 percent of Victorians support preschool funding. Access to funded preschool is critical, because many families can’t afford preschool fees.
“Educators and preschools need the funding certainty that today’s announcement delivers. To build a solid and stable workforce of qualified educators the sector needs long term funding certainty. This gives teachers and educators the certainty they deserve to do the work they love.
“Victorian children and families will reap the rewards of this major funding commitment for decades to come. The introduction of accessible preschool for all three-year-old children is an investment in our shared future,” said Mr Mullaly.
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