Universal Access to Early Childhood Under Threat
Currently every child in Australia has access to 15 hours per week of high quality early childhood education taught by a university-trained teacher in the year before school. But now the Federal Government won't commit to funding beyond the end of the year.
You can help us save the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education program.
We have sent all Primary and Early Childhood Sub-branch Presidents a package with a fact sheet, post cards and a reply paid envelope.
- sign a postcard
- ask colleagues and parents at your school to sign a postcard
- collect all signed postcards and return in the envelope provided to PO Box 3042, Manuka ACT 2603 by Monday 27th April
The Universal Access to Early Childhood Education program was implemented in 2013 by the then Federal Labor government to ensure every child in Australia has access to high quality early childhood education taught by a university-trained teacher in the year before school.
The Abbott Government has only committed to help deliver 15 hours of early childhood education funding through the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education program until the end of 2015. The $660 million in program funding is due to expire at the end of this year with no commitment to funding into 2016 and beyond. The early years of childrens’ lives are the most formative years for their educational, social, physical, emotional and moral development.
There is significant international and national research  that supports the value and importance of high quality preschool education in the year before school. The research indicates a range of benefits for children including:
- A more successful transition to full-time schooling
- Improved learning outcomes for all children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds or with additional learning needs
- A strong foundation for a lifetime of learning
- Improved social, emotional and educational skills
OECD research also shows that high quality early childhood education can have positive impacts on the economy and the broader society.
Without Federal Government funding children will miss out on up to five hours a week, or a third of the time they currently have with a university-trained teacher to help them to learn, grow and develop to their full potential.
Taking away early childhood education funding will rob children of the education they need to prepare them for a lifetime of learning opportunities.
Now is the time to pressure the Abbott Government to commit to ongoing funding for the full 15 hours a week of early childhood education for all 4 year olds in the May Federal budget.
 OECD (2012), Starting Strong III: A Quality Toolbox for Early Childhood Education and Care, OECD Publishing