The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) has welcomed the recent State Government announcement of extra year of funding for funding for three-year kindergarten, but has called for certainty in future funding.
MAV’s President, Cr Mary Lalios, has welcomed the announcement by the State Government, which made the announcement as part of re-election campaign in advance of the coming state election in November.
The MAV welcomed the announcement, but expressed its concern that Australia continues to lag behind other developed nations.
“Australia lags behind many other countries in providing two years of funded preschool for our children. First and foremost we need to prioritise two years of kinder participation for our most vulnerable children,” Cr Lalios said.
Cr Lalios also expressed concern that the proposal for 15 hours of preschool for three-year olds could not proceed without an ongoing Commonwealth funding commitment to the current four-year old program.
“The Federal Budget this year identified a ‘saving’ by concluding its annual $440 million to fund five of the 15 hours each week for children to attend four-year old preschool. The State funds the other 10 hours.
“While we welcome the commitment by Federal Labor, we need a bipartisan commitment to permanent Federal funding for four-year old kinder to continue in 2020 and beyond. Otherwise, parents face unaffordable fee increases or extra childcare costs,” she said.