ELAA Interim CEO, Tina Martin, comments in the Herald Sun on the importance of universal access to funded quality 3-year-old early learning programs.
Leader Community News – ELAA Interim CEO, Tina Martin, welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement re a 1-year extension on 15 Hours but calls on all levels of government to tackle the issue of ongoing funding, rather than relying on year-to-year extensions.
ABC Radio ‘The World Today’ interview with ELAA CEO re release of latest OECD Education at a Glance Report
ELAA CEO, Shane Lucas, spoke to the ABC Radio The World Today program yesterday following the release of the latest OECD Education at a Glance Report which shows Australia is going backwards on three-year-old participation in early learning.
The Age published a feature recently that discussed the importance of early learning in influencing children’s long term learning abilities and outcomes. ELAA CEO Shane Lucas and Jo Geurts, CEO of ECKA both stressed the importance of local and international research which consistently demonstrated the co-relation between the evidence based learning and practice.
The Early Learning Review recently published a piece looking back on the early learning sector in 2016 and forward to next year. The article included the views of sector leaders’ (including ELAA CEO – Shane Lucas) on the key issues for the sector in 2017.
ELAA has received the attached response from Minister Birmingham in response to our letter of 29 November regarding the future of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education beyond the current agreement’s expiry on 31 December 2017. The Minister has also requested that we share his response with all those members and supporters who have signed our petition to Keep funding 15 hours .
We will be looking to meet with the Minister early in the New Year to discuss this important issue further.
While we are delighted that the Minister reiterates the Turnbull Government’s commitment to ensuring that all children have access to quality early learning and care, we are concerned that the Commonwealth contribution to preschool funding through the National Partnership Agreement is described as having only ever been a “top-up” contribution. This is not ELAA’s view. We regard this funding as both critical to ensuring 15 hours of quality early learning for every child in the year before school, and an important demonstration of the shared commitment by all Australian Governments to the longer-term economic and social benefits of investment in early learning.
Shane Lucas, CEO
ELAA has joined 20 other early learning sector organisations in writing to Greens and cross-bench Senators urging them to support an amended version of the Federal Government’sJobs for Familieschild care assistance package.
The letters underline cross-sectoral support for many aspects of the proposed child care assistance package, including:
- increased investment in early learning
- streamlining of current subsidies (Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate)
- child Care Safety Net programs for children with additional needs.
However, the sector is also calling for amendments to the package to better reflect the benefits for children of quality early learning:
- an increased base entitlement of subsidised hours and a raised income threshold for the base entitlement
- an increased base entitlement to subsidised hours specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and a specialised program to support otherwise unviable services
- activity test and subsidy approval processes that are flexible to accommodate the needs of families.
The letters also state that the package should not be conditional on the Government making savings from proposed cuts to Family Tax Benefits that would adversely impact disadvantaged families.
The Jobs for Families legislation was reintroduced to Parliament in September and is expected to be before the Senate very soon.
1st Prize – Ticket 000287
2nd Prize – Ticket 005884
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