Monday, 14 July 2014
Statements by Members
La Trobe Electorate: Upwey Preschool
On Thursday, 12 June, I met with Tyson Clugg and Kellie Macknam, parents of children from the Upwey Preschool in my electorate of La Trobe. They stated that they were very concerned with the uncertainty that faces both parents and educators of early childhood beyond the conclusion of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, which concludes in December this year.
The national partnership is currently under review, leaving parents and educators without any ability to plan their finances, employment commitments or budgets for 2015, as no decision has been made to commit to further funding under the partnership or other similar arrangements. They have requested the government urgently commit to continue federal funding that ensures access to 15 hours of kindergarten per week for all Australian preschool children in the year before school beyond 31 December 2014. The final report of the review is expected to be presented to the government by the end of October 2014.
I received a petition concerning possible funding reductions to the national partnership from the Upwey Preschool and have lodged this with the Petitions Committee chair, who will present it to parliament shortly. The petition submitted received 1,377 names collected in four days, which is a remarkable effort. To Tyson, Kellie and the other parents from the Upwey Preschool, rest assured I will be lobbying hard to keep the 15 hours of kindergarten per week for the Upwey Preschool and all Australian preschool children beyond 31 December 2014.