One of the most critical things we Greens on Leichhardt council have achieved is record investment in community infrastructure like new playing fields and playgrounds as well as increasing child care places and child care facilities in our local community.
Most OECD countries offer two years of free pre-school education. Australia is heading towards providing one year, but the NSW Greens want to go further. The NSW Greens pre-school initiative will offer two years of free pre-school education, for two days per week, for all children in NSW.
The first stage of the policy will offer 10,000 children the chance to enter a government pre-school for an additional one year. Places will be targeted to Aboriginal families and disadvantaged communities. The Greens will work with the Commonwealth to extend access to two years of preschool for all children by 2018.
The estimated additional costs of the first stage of the policy are: $28 million per year for additional teachers; $100 million capital works in the first year to build additional classrooms.
- The benefits of two years of pre-school are well founded in international studies and include better learning outcomes, better social adjustment to school life, higher long-term education and income levels.
- The benefits that will flow from government investment in two years of pre-school far outweigh the investment costs.
- As children attain a better grounding in their social and academic education, there is less chance they will end up unemployed, in the criminal justice system or become a cost the health system through ill health or teenage pregnancy, hence costing the government less in the long run.
- The cost of an additional preschool teacher is less than $95,000 a year while the state loses $100,000 per year for every adult in gaol.