Ongoing kinder funding not guaranteed

10 July 2018 - Media release

Council is joining forces with state and territory governments to call on the federal government to make an ongoing commitment to permanent kindergarten funding.

Campaspe Shire Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said the current funding of 15 hours per week has been extended to December 2019, however no commitment has been made beyond this date.

“It makes it very difficult for kindergarten services to plan for the future without knowing if the funding will cease or reduce. This in turn directly impacts children and families as well as kindergartens and their staff,” Cr Weston said.

“Without ongoing funding under the National Partnership Agreement for universal access to early childhood education, many families will no longer be able to afford putting their children into kindergarten.”

“With a decrease in enrolled children, kindergarten staff will have their hours cut, or lose their jobs altogether.”

Kindergarten is an important stage in a child's development where they become involved in a variety of educational activities and experiences which enables them to become effective learners. The kinder environment is a place where learning continuously evolves in all aspects of a child's development and lays the foundation for lifelong learning.

Shine Bright CEO Suzi Sordan said we need stable funding and a quality base for our children.

“85 to 90 per cent of brain development occurs in the first five years of life. During the early years, children develop key skills required for positive learning and life outcomes such as problem solving skills, cognitive ability, communication, controlling their emotions and developing and forming relationships. Early childhood education helps children develop these key skills,” Ms Sordan said.

Cr Weston also said council is now supporting the I Love Kinder program, which is a community advocacy campaign to secure funding for 15 hours of kindergarten beyond 2019. Council is encouraging the community to visit the website and follow the prompts to support the program.

“The simple act of writing or drawing why you love kinder and submitting it on the website will show the federal government just how important this program is and why they must commit to permanent funding.”