The $2.52-million will ensure access to 15 hours a week for 1998 local preschoolers

Lyne MP David Gillespie
Lyne MP David Gillespie

About 2000 children across our electorate will benefit from a more than $400 million preschool funding boost announced by the federal Coalition government.

The $2.52-million for 1,998 local preschoolers will ensure they have access to 15 hours a week of quality early learning in the year before they start school.

We know a quality preschool education is essential for laying the foundations for successful learning, including transition to full-time school and future school success.

It means children in the year before school will continue to have access to 600 hours of preschool a year in 2019.

The federal Coalition government has extended the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.

Between our $427.8 million this year, and $440 million in 2019 for preschool, as well as our overhaul of the child care system and $2.5 billion extra investment, the federal Coalition government’s commitment to early childhood education and care and is clear.

The challenge we now need to confront is for all of the funding support, more than a quarter of children enrolled for preschool aren’t attending for the full 15 hours. 

States must find ways to motivate the parents of educationally vulnerable preschoolers to both enrol and attend, otherwise we risk a lost generation of children who start school too far behind their counterparts.

This extension of the National Partnership gives us time to work through these issues and develop an enduring policy beyond 2019 that ensures children are not just enrolling, but attending and benefiting from preschool programs.

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of well-known Camden Haven local Daphne Johnston OAM. Daphne was a wonderful member of our community, always giving. She has been involved in many local community groups and organisations including the Red Cross and Meals on Wheels and served as an alderman and councillor on our council for 25 years, giving a significant amount of her time to make our community a better place.

I have always appreciated her words of wisdom and advice. Daphne was always respectful of others and told you exactly how she saw it. She has had a long and active life and I know many people would agree that our community is an even better place because of her many decades of community service.

On behalf of my wife Charlotte and the broader community, I would like to express my condolences to Daphne’s family and pay tribute to a wonderful lady who gave so much to our community.