Victoria and NSW Governments Work Together To Deliver Overhaul Of Preschool Education
Education for all!
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews and NSW premier Dominic Perrottet have this morning introduced a new year of play-based learning for children before they go to school.
Described by the pair as “the greatest transformation of early education in a generation”, every child across the two states will benefit from the long-term policy within the next 10 years.
In Victoria, four-year-old kinder will be revamped as “pre-prep”, with every four-year-old Victorian child entitled to a free 30 hour per week program, which is up from 15 hours.
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This commitment is a part of a $9 billion package to be delivered over the next decade.
“Pre-kindergarten” as it will be known in NSW will be delivered similarly, however the commitment will be delivered to all four-year-old children by 2030 in a budget pledge worth $5.8 billion over the next 10 years.
In a joint statement, the premiers said the commitment will benefit both children and their working families.
“In the next 10 years, every child in Victoria and NSW will experience the benefits of a full year of play-based learning before their first year of school,” they said.
“A year dedicated to growing and learning, new friends, and new experiences. A year devoted to helping our kids be the very best they can be. Giving them the skills they need for school, but just as importantly, the skills they need for life.
“At the same time, it will benefit hundreds of thousands of working families. Helping more mums and dads return to work on terms that work for them.”
NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told the Sydney Morning Herald the extra pre-school year would help identify health and development issues students may have, and help address those issues earlier and create a smoother transition into school.
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“A lot of the conversations that I have … particularly with our primary teachers, is even though more kids are going to early childhood education, there’s still a lot that walk into the door on the first day of kindergarten where that transition hasn’t been strong,” she said.
“The earlier you get in and help address some of these issues, the more likely you are to be able to correct anything that can be treated.”
The Victorian government will also build 50 childcare centres in areas which have an unmet demand for childcare places, increasing supply by three to five per cent.
The first of the childcare centres will be open by 2025 and charge a lower fee than many private childcare providers.
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