15 hours of preschool a week for all Fairfax children

15 hours of preschool a week for all Fairfax children - Ted O'Brien MP

More than 2,150 children across Fairfax will benefit from a more than $400 million preschool funding boost announced by the Federal Government.

Ted O’Brien MP for Fairfax said the $2.78 million for 2,163 local preschoolers would ensure they had access to 15 hours a week of quality early learning in the year before they started school.

“The Federal Government wants to give our littlest learners in Fairfax the best start to their education,” Mr O’Brien said.

“We know that a quality preschool education is essential for laying the foundations for successful learning, including transition to full-time school and future school success.

“It gives certainty for families and children. It means children in the year before school will continue to have access to 15 hours of preschool a week (600 hours a year) in 2019.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Federal Government had extended the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.

“Between our $427.8 million this year and $440 million in 2019 for preschool as well as our overhaul of the child care system and $2.5 billion extra investment, the Federal Government’s commitment to early childhood education and care and is clear,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The challenge we now need to confront is that for all of the funding support, more than a quarter of children enrolled for preschool aren’t attending for the full 15 hours.

“That means some children in the earliest years of education are starting behind the pack.

“States must find ways to motivate the parents of educationally vulnerable preschoolers to both enrol and attend, otherwise we risk a lost generation of children who start school too far behind their counterparts.

“This extension of the National Partnership gives us time to work through these issues and develop an enduring policy beyond 2019 that ensures children are not just enrolling, but attending and benefiting from preschool programs in readiness for school.”

For more details, please see the full media release from Minister Birmingham, here.