Call for Federal Government to Fund Our Future ahead of budget
Permanent on-going funding for kindergartens critical
Kindergarten employees across Queensland are calling on the Federal Government to provide certainty of funding to the sector in this year’s budget in order to protect the future of our next generation of Australians.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said members had launched the Fund Our Future campaign calling on the Federal Government to get serious about funding early childhood education in this country.
“For years now the Federal Government has failed to make a permanent commitment to Universal Access funding – funding that ensures all Australian children have access to 15 hours per week of early childhood education in the year before they start school,” Mr Burke said.
“Instead the Federal Government has relied on a drip-feed approach to funding – leaving children, parents and employees in perpetual uncertainty.
“This is despite research which has identified indisputable evidence of the positive effect that quality early childhood education has on children’s ongoing learning and development.
“Access to quality early childhood education is also a major factor in our country’s future with its importance as a driver for immediate and long-term economic development recognised by the Productivity Commission in October 2014.
“Yet for the last three years the Federal Government has provided no real commitment to funding for the sector.
“In fact, Australia currently provides less than a quarter of the OECD average expenditure on early childhood education, when measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“It’s crucial the Federal Government receives a clear message that its investment in early childhood education is not optional,” Mr Burke said.
Queensland Kindergarten Director and IEUA-QNT member Jenny Finlay said members had launched the campaign because they understood firsthand the difference quality early childhood education makes for students and the community.
“The Fund Our Future campaign is calling on Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham to provide certainty of funding for our kindergartens in the May budget and beyond,” Ms Finlay said.
“It’s time for the Federal Government to permanently fund our kindergartens and provide certainty for the early childhood sector through Universal Access funding.
“It's time to invest in our next generation of Australians and give students the best possible start when it comes to learning and life,” she said.
For more on the Fund Our Future campaign visit: www.fundourfuture.net.au