The Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care, Maxine McKew, and the Western Australian Communities Minister Sue Ellery today announced a partnership to make early childhood education more accessible for families in WA.
The Rudd Government is contributing $850,000 to WA over the next year for early childhood education.
“We know that children learn more in their first five years than at any other time in their lives,” Ms McKew said.
“This is why the Rudd Government is partnering with the Western Australian Government to ensure all children have access to an early learning program in the year before formal schooling by 2013."
“The money will be used to establish three Best Start services for Aboriginal families in Mullewa, Marble Bar and South Lake; as well as early childhood education workforce measures in the Kimberley and Pilbara,” Ms Ellery said.
“The early childhood education component includes a fast-track training program for existing professionals and ten indigenous scholarships.”
This is the first step along the path to delivering the Rudd Government’s commitment to universal access to early childhood education. Funding for quality early learning programs will step up each year prior to 2013.
Over five years before 2013, the Rudd Government will invest $533.5million to provide Australian children, including indigenous children living in remote communities, with access to affordable early learning programs.
These programs will be delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher, for 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year in the year before formal schooling.
The Rudd Government is also working in partnership with State and Territory Governments to develop a $126million ‘National Early Years Workforce Strategy’, delivering $22.2million for rigorous new national quality standards for child care and preschool.
In addition, $2.5million is being invested to deliver in an ‘Early Years Learning Framework’ to enhance early childhood education.
These projects will also provide important information in planning universal access to early childhood education by 2013, both in WA and across the country.
Minister Ellery’s Office - (08) 9213 7150
Ms McKew’s Office - (02) 6277 4939