A Shorten Labor Government will introduce a new National Preschool and Kindy Program, guaranteeing around 700,000 Australian children a year will be able to access subsidised preschool in the two years before formal school.
Research shows that 90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life. An investment in early education is one of the smartest investments our country can make.
Our global competitors have recognised the value of a two year early childhood education program, and it’s time Australia gets on board, before we fall further behind. The United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Ireland and China have all expanded their early childhood education programs to include three year olds.
Under a Shorten Labor Government:
- For the first time ever, every three year old in Australia will be able to access 15 hours of subsidised early childhood education, so they can get the best start to learning.
- Labor will also guarantee the current arrangement for four year olds accessing preschool – creating a quality, two-year program to support the most important years of a child’s development, an investment of an additional $1.7 billion into early education.
Labor’s plan is good for children, good for parents, and good for the economy:
- Children – Studies have shown that children who access quality early education achieve better results in tests throughout their schooling. Early education is particularly vital in closing the disadvantage gap before a child starts school.
- Parents – One of the biggest barriers to accessing early education is finance. Expanding access will help with the cost of living, help parents balance work and family and help reduce the child care bill for families with children already in early education.
- Economy – Evidence shows that the return on investment in early childhood education is significant. A recent study from the European Union showed that for every dollar spent on early childhood education for three year olds, $4 was returned to the economy.
Labor will work in partnership with the States and Territories to deliver this important reform, including in setting enrolment and attendance targets, particularly for Indigenous and vulnerable children.
We will pay for it by making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.