03 May 2015

Funding certainty for Corangamite kinders

I am delighted that our government has moved quickly to provide funding certainty for pre-school programmes across Australia including here in Corangamite.

The Australian Government will provide $840 million for two years – in 2016 and 2017 – for kindergartens and other preschool programme providers by extending funding to the states and territories under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.

This funding is in addition to the 12 month extension provided by the Federal Government for 2015.

For Corangamite kindergartens, this will provide much needed certainty after Bill Shorten and Labor failed to provide this funding beyond 2014.

In recent weeks, I have made strong representations to Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Social Services Minister Scott Morrison about the importance of this Universal Access funding.

I have met with a number of kindergarten operators about this important issue.  Last week for instance, I visited Grovedale Kindergarten and Grovedale’s Goodstart Childcare Centre.

Universal access funding in Victoria delivers an additional five hours of kindergarten a week, from 10 to 15 hours.

For the first time, the new funding will be indexed against the CPI to make sure families do not lose out in real terms. Linking funding to the CPI will mean an extra $30 million over the 2016 and 2017 calendar years.

Today’s announcement is great news for Corangamite families.  Our government is working very hard to support families through improved vaccination rules, better targeted and more flexible childcare and now through this additional funding for preschool education.

3 May 2015