All children deserve access to quality education that gives them the best start to life.
That’s why we’re calling on political parties to commit to 15-hours a week of fully funded, high-quality early learning for every three-year-old.
Early learning is an essential stepping stone to a better future, especially for children experiencing disadvantage.
At present, children are offered one year of Government-funded four-year-old kindergarten. But two years are better than one.
“Children who attend two years of early learning before starting school are more likely to complete secondary education, have better results in exams, and attend post-secondary education,” said Quinn Pawson, Uniting General Manager for Advocacy and Citizen Engagement.
“Children who are able to access two years of early learning before they start school are better prepared – not just for school, but for the rest of their life. It builds the foundations for future social and economic success.”
Our recent research in Victoria found that 93 per cent of people believe early learning is either important or very important to a child’s development.
But over a third (37%) of the families currently sending their child to early learning before the age of four, reported a major impact on their ability to cover essential costs such as housing, food and utilities.
“Parents understand the importance of early learning, and support the introduction of fully-funded kinder for all three-year-olds,” Quinn said.
“It’s concerning that many children are missing out because the cost is too high. We wouldn’t accept this at a primary school level, and this period of education is equally important.”
We are working hard to advocate for early learning in the lead-up to the Victorian state election in November. This includes meetings with the Government and the Greens, and we are seeking a meeting with the Liberal Party.
To find out more, and read the report, please click here