Two years of preschool: Greens win support for Parliamentary motion

Greens MP Jamie Parker gained Parliamentary support for a motion recognising the importance of preschool education and calling on the Government to introduce a scheme for an additional year of public pre-school for two days per week for all children in NSW.


"Preschool education should be free and accessible to all. There is an increasing body of international research supporting the enormous developmental benefits for children of quality preschool education," Mr Parker said.

"The benefits of early childhood education are particularly significant for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"Most developed countries offer two years of free preschool education. Australia is moving towards providing one year, but we Greens believe we must go further.

"Equal access to preschool education can have transformational impacts for children from lower socio-economic backgrounds, contributing significantly to breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and disadvantage.

"Participation in preschool has been strongly linked to the availability of free preschool education.

"The Liberal government's decision to introduce fees for public preschools has already impacted on enrolments in preschools in my electorate. The NSW Teachers Federation has also stated it is aware of some preschools reporting falling enrolments as a result of the introduction of fees.

"Evidence states that the gap in educational achievement between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students is due in part to lower levels of attendance at pre-schools, which may be exacerbated by the introduction of fees. 

"A strong commitment to equal access to at least two years of quality preschool education – for every child - is crucial to investing in the next generation and building an equal, successful and cohesive society.

"I acknowledge the positive comments by coalition members during the debate that universal access is a priority of this government.

"I call on the Minister to seriously review the impact of fees on preschool enrolments, as the evidence indicates that fees are undermining universal access to preschool," Mr Parker said.

Watch Mr Parker's speech here:



Watch Mr Parker's reply speech here:



More information: Alison Martin 0432 941 533.


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