Ed­u­ca­tion pitch

Joondalup Times - - NEWS -

EARLY ed­u­ca­tion ad­vo­cates have wel­comed a Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion plan to sub­sidise ed­u­ca­tion for three-year-olds, but Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son says it will mean higher taxes.

La­bor an­nounced last week that if it was elected, three-year-olds would be able to ac­cess 15 hours of sub­sidised early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion from 2021 un­der a $1.75 bil­lion, two-year Na­tional Preschool and Kindy Pro­gram.

The Mitchell In­sti­tute and In­de­pen­dent Ed­u­ca­tion Union of Aus­tralia (IEUA) both wel­comed the an­nounce­ment.

In­sti­tute di­rec­tor Me­gan O’Con­nell said giv­ing all chil­dren ac­cess to two years of qual­ity preschool pro­grams could help young peo­ple meet crit­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion mile­stones and lift na­tional pro­duc­tiv­ity.

“Spe­cially de­signed preschool pro­grams for three and four-year-olds can give chil­dren the head­start they need to en­gage with learn­ing when they’re at school and dis­cover where they can ex­cel,” she said.

IEUA pres­i­dent John Quessy said the ben­e­fits of early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams led by qual­i­fied teach­ers was com­pelling and proven.

“Ac­cess to qual­ity early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion is a strong in­di­ca­tor of the child’s lev­els of achieve­ment, not only in school but later in life,” he said.

“For ev­ery dol­lar in­vested in early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, four dol­lars are re­turned to the econ­omy.”

Cowan MHR Anne Aly said in­vest­ing in early ed­u­ca­tion was a smart de­ci­sion.

“Ninety per cent of a child’s brain de­vel­op­ment oc­curs in the first five years of life,” she said.

“When I was a sin­gle mum with two young boys, early ed­u­ca­tion cen­tres al­lowed me to work to put food on the ta­ble and study to cre­ate a bet­ter life for my kids.”

Maranga­roo mother-oftwo Re­nee Evans said it would make a huge dif­fer­ence to her fam­ily bud­get.

“One of the big­gest prob­lems our fam­ily faces in ac­cess­ing early ed­u­ca­tion is the cost,” she said.

“The price for early ed­u­ca­tion has just gone up and up. This sub­sidy would do so much to re­duce my child care bills and I know my girls would be get­ting a great ed­u­ca­tion.”

Mr Mor­ri­son said the pro­gram would mean Aus­tralians would pay higher taxes and lacked de­tail.

Cowan MHR Anne Aly with Aaee­sha (3) and Sarah (1) Evans.

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