Funding our future: uncertainty continues
The uncertainty remains for Early Childhood Education teachers, assistants and their students with the Federal Government again failing to provide ongoing funding to the sector.
In early February, Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham yet again announced a single additional year of Universal Access funding for kindergartens and preschools for 2019 – further perpetuating the government’s piecemeal approach to supporting the sector.
Universal Access Funding provides vital support to kindergartens as part of the National Partnership arrangements. Unfortunately this funding has been subject to year-by-year consideration by the Federal Government as they fail to commit to a permanent funding arrangement.
With the Federal Government position falling short of the ongoing funding required for the future of the sector and its students, IEUA-QNT members will be continuing the Fund our Future campaign to send a clear message to the Federal Government that they must make a permanent commitment to the education of kindergarten children.
IEUA-QNT member and Director of Borilla Community Kindergarten Jenny Finlay said the current federal funding arrangement for the sector was just not good enough.
“This funding decision is a clear indication that early childhood education is not a priority of the Federal Government.
“The piecemeal approach that is being taken doesn’t allow for long-term planning in kindergartens.
“Each year we are left guessing whether we will be receiving funding for our centres or not.
“What the Federal Government is doing in terms of funding does not aligned with its repeated rhetoric about the importance of early childhood education,” Ms Finlay said.
IEUA-QNT Senior Industrial Officer John Spriggs said for the last six years a climate of uncertainty has surrounded the sector, leaving parents and staff unsure whether kindergartens will receive the funding that is so vital to the provision of early childhood education.
“The Federal Education Minister is happy to quote research showing the impact quality education and care can have for children, yet the Federal Government simply cannot commit to properly and permanently funding early childhood education.
“Pushing our kindergarten staff and the children in their care into a perpetual funding limbo is not how you sustain quality education.
“The lack of commitment to Universal Access Funding by the Federal Government is simply shameful in the face of the claims they always make that the government is recognises the absolute importance of quality early childhood education.
“Kindergarten staff deserve to be supported in the work they do to provide quality education.
“Early Childhood Education is the sector which has been shown to produce the greatest return on educational investment.
“Ultimately the Federal Government’s current funding approach is just not good enough for the future of our nation as a whole.”
Mr Spriggs said our union will work with stakeholders in the sector to further push for permanent funding arrangements.
“It’s time for the Federal Government to provide certainty for the Early Childhood Education sector,” Mr Spriggs said.
Sign our online petition at megaphone.org.au/petition/fundourfuture to send a clear message to the Federal Government that they must Fund our Future.
To find out more visit www.fundourfuture.net.au