Reforms to early childhood education support workforce, parents

| June 21, 2022

The New South Wales and Victorian Governments have committed to a full year of universal pre-kindergarten or pre-prep in the year before school by 2030, a move that will help support parents’ return to the workforce and create jobs growth for the sector.

In addition, the NSW Government has committed to setting up more preschools on school sites, community preschools and long day care.

While the Victorian Government have announced other additional measures including making Kindergarten free across the state and establishing 50 government operated childcare services across the state.

In a joint statement NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the move would give children the skills they need for school, but just as importantly, the skills they need for life.

“At the same time, it will benefit hundreds of thousands of working families and would help more mums and dads return to work on terms that work for them.

Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said the NSW Premier, Treasurer and Education Minister are to be commended on their leadership and this ground-breaking announcement.

“The size of this landmark investment is matched by the scale of its ambition and the lasting difference it will make in the lives of children and families.

“Early learning reform will provide a legacy of better development outcomes for children, greater workforce participation and equality for women, lower costs for families and a stronger Australian economy,” he said.

The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent saidthe investment will help more children access quality early learning which sets them up for lifelong success, and ensure tens of thousands of parents, predominantly women, can return to the workforce.

“The huge investment will provide essential early learning infrastructure for our community and economy, and it’s a huge relief for parents, educators and providers that there is finally this level of leadership and assistance being provided.

Samantha Page, CEO, Early Childhood Australia said the proposed changes are complex and rely on a stable and well-supported workforce.

“We look forward to working with both governments to support the implementation of the reforms and to ensure that they meet the needs of children and take into account the complexities of the profession and its workforce.”