Red Day of Action for Preschools

Valla Community Preschool is joining with other early education and care services across NSW next Thursday 29th August to protest against the NSW State Government’s lack of investment in early education and proposed changes to funding of community based preschools and long day care services.

Preschools and long day care services across NSW are having a ‘red day of action’ to highlight the fact that NSW spends less on early education than any other State and Territory. On the day, children, staff and parents at Valla Community Preschool will wear red clothing to show how fired up they are about the lack of funding from the NSW Government. The red day of action at services across the State will be accompanied by a rally and protest at Parliament House in Sydney from 7.30am.

“It is just not good enough that the NSW Government spends less on early education per child than any other State or Territory. We need greater investment in our children by the NSW Government. We know that children that participate in early education do better in school and in later life, but the NSW Government has not increased funding despite this being the first recommendation of a review they commissioned into funding for early childhood education” said Phillipa Maher, Director of Valla Community Preschool.

The Government is also proposing changing how not-for-profit preschools and long day care services are funded, a move Phillipa Maher says will have a negative impact for the Mid North Coast.

“The Government has proposed removing funding for 3 year old children attending preschools. This means that Valla Community Preschool will be forced to charge higher fees for 3 year old children. They have also suggested that some preschools will receive less funding. If this occurs for Valla Community Preschool, our fees will have to increase for all ages. “

A report reduced last week by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education stated that “To realise the potential of all students, children need access to high quality early learning programs from before they turn three until school entry.” The NSW Government has over a number of years spent less on early education and care than any other state and territory in Australia. This has meant higher preschool fees, and subsequently lower participation in early education than any other state or territory.

Australian three and four year olds are engaged in formal early education at one of the lowest rates in the world, and NSW has the lowest rates in Australia. The OECD report Education at a Glance 2013 showed that only 13 per cent of Australian three-year-olds and 67 per cent of four-year-olds are engaged in early education.

The OECD reported that Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test scores have shown that children across the world who access early education have improved cognitive abilities and higher reading abilities at age 15.
Children and families at Valla Community Preschool will be participating in the red day of action to ensure that they and future children of the Nambucca Valley will continue to get access to the benefits of early education and care.

For more information contact:

Valla Community Preschool
Phillipa Maher