Parents & teachers demand free, accessible preschool

A petition containing 10,858 signatures of parents and educators will be presented to Premier Daniel Andrews at Victorian parliament today. The petition demands the Andrews Government commit to funding 15 hours a week of 3-year-old preschool.  
“We’re sending a strong message that parents want two years of fully funded early childhood education.  Children who attend preschool have better social, emotional and cognitive outcomes,” said Meredith Peace, president of the Australian Education Union in Victoria. 
“The benefits are clear, children who have access to preschool education start prep with a bigger vocabulary, stronger basic skills and good habits and attitudes about learning that stick with them for life.
“Right now, more than 50 percent of 3-year-olds in Victoria are missing out on a preschool education.  That must change, preschool attendance must become the norm for 3 and 4-year-old Victorian children. 
“Children whose parents can’t afford to pay preschool fees are missing out. Without long-term funding, children from lower socio-economic backgrounds who would benefit most from two years of early learning with a qualified preschool teacher will continue to miss out. 
“The Andrews Government must fund 3-year old preschool programs and support the strong teaching workforce required to deliver the programs,” said Ms Peace. 
AEU representatives and early childhood educators will be presenting the petition calling on the Andrews Government to deliver all 3- and 4-year-olds 15 hours of preschool to Daniel Andrews at 4.30PM. 
Media contact: Jessica Kendall, 0414 679 857 


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