Michelle is one of the 93% of Victorian parents who believe early learning is crucial to a child’s development.
Last year, the mother-of-four received 15 hours per week of subsidised early learning for her four year-old daughter, Indiana.
But she didn’t receive support for her youngest child, Abbey, to attend three-year-old early learning for five hours a week. Michelle wanted Abbey to socialise with other children and learn how to take instructions from teachers. She admits sending Abbey to three-year-old early learning had a significant impact on the family budget. “We spent $3,600 on early learning fees last year for Indiana and Abbey. It definitely put a strain on our budget,” Michelle said.
We know that early learning works. Children who have enjoyed two years of early learning before they go to school will experience better outcomes over the course of their lives.
They get a better start at school, they are more likely to complete high school, and more likely to go on to further education. As adults, they are more likely to be employed, they will have higher earning potential and they are less likely to have a criminal record.
Despite missing out on subsidised three-year-old early learning for Abbey, Michelle is happy to see new early learning funding introduced. “I’m just glad that all families will have better access to three-year-old early learning now,” she said.
“We all want to do what we can to see our kids succeed, and I think this funding will give our children the best start possible.”