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NSW must invest more in early childhood education

- September 4, 2013

The Infants’ Home calls on the NSW State Government to heed the recommendations of its own review into funding early childhood education.

The Infants' Home Human Resources Manager, Joan Wilson (R) at a recent rally to support education.



Details from the NSW Department of Education on how it plans to fund early childhood education reveal the investment in this vital area remains inadequate, according to The Infants' Home.

One of Australia's leading providers of early childhood education and care says NSW must change the fact that it spends less on early education than any other state or territory.

HOW WE RATE IN NSW

"We want the NSW Government to make a greater investment into funding early childhood education, NOT redistribute a pot of money that is already too small," says The Infants' Home CEO, Anita Kumar.

"Educating our youngest minds must become a priority."

The Brennan Review

The NSW Government has not increased its investment in early education, so it plans to redistribute existing funds. It will also use some Commonwealth funding from the Universal Access National Partnership.

The NSW Government's own review of NSW Government Funding for Early Childhood Education – the Brennan Review – stated that one of the main reasons so many children do not receive an early education in NSW is because NSW has the highest preschool fees in Australia.

The Brennan Review recommended an increase in NSW's investment in early education. This has not happened.

Our reaction to government plans

The changes that are of most concern to The Infants' Home are the suggestions that:

Early childhood education for all

Many children in NSW get access to an early education through long day care services.

"We know that community-based, not-for-profit long day care services that have received NSW Government funding since their inception cannot absorb the loss of these funds," says Kumar.

"The Department of Education is proposing to replace this funding with smaller teacher subsidies, weighted towards smaller services, and available to both for-profit and not-for profit long day care services.

"All children, regardless of their circumstances, deserve access to an early childhood teacher. This simply requires a greater investment."

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