Media release

 10 November 2020

Free and low-fee kinder in Victoria is a winner for families, employers and children

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) applauds the Victorian Government’s decision to deliver free and low-fee early learning for all three- and four-year-olds in 2021.

‘Increased public investment in early learning is precisely the right policy for the times,’ said Elizabeth Death, CEO of ELACCA.

‘Boosting early learning funding will help to deliver the “triple dividend” that we need.’

‘For parents, this means affordable care that enables them to work; for employers, the policy generates a greater pool of willing employees.’

‘Most importantly, greater funding gives children better access to a quality early learning program, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher, which sets them up for a life of learning and achievement.’

The Victorian Government’s additional funding for early learning will apply to both standalone (sessional) kindergarten programs and kindergarten programs delivered in long day care settings. Both types of program are delivered by qualified teachers.

‘The new Victorian investment also highlights the variation in early learning funding and access across Australia,’ Ms Death said.

‘The NSW Government took a big step in the right direction last weekend, when it announced free sessional preschool for 2021. We encourage NSW to follow the Victorian Government’s lead by extending additional funding to preschool programs delivered by qualified teachers in long day settings.’

‘To shift the dial for Australia’s youngest learners, parents and carers must be able to access affordable early learning across all service types,’ said Ms Death.

‘This is precisely why Australia needs a new national agreement on preschool and kinder, to get the Commonwealth, states and territories on the same page and ensure the best outcomes for all Australian children.’

Ends