23 February 2022
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) applauds the Queensland Government for its $1 billion commitment to early learning over the next five years.
‘The package of measures announced today will have very tangible benefits for Queensland’s youngest learners and their families,’ said CEO Elizabeth Death. ‘Supporting children’s learning in the year before school is one of the best investments that any government can make.’
‘On behalf of our members, I thank the Premier and Minister Grace for delivering such a comprehensive kindergarten package. We look forward to working side by side to deliver this package.’
The new investment will target some of the highest priorities for early learning in Queensland (and in Australia more broadly):
Workforce: qualified early childhood teachers are at the heart of high-quality early learning, so measures to support their attraction and retention in regional and remote areas are essential.
Affordability: free early learning for children in vulnerable circumstances may be life-changing for them and should be the gold standard across Australia. Cuts to fees for all other families using long day care and standalone services for kindergarten will help ensure that cost is no barrier to learning.
Children with disability and additional needs: the expansion of the new Kindy Uplift program will help cover the significant costs of providing specialised support to each child who needs it.
‘As the Commonwealth, states and territories embark on the National Preschool Reform process, we urge them to focus clearly on the needs of children and to make the investments that will deliver benefits to the whole community for decades to come,’ Ms Death said.