Labor has proven it has no plan or vision for education in NSW, offering no new spending and pulling a complete backflip on its response to the NSW Government’s plans for pre-K and early education set out in the 2022/23 Budget.
Last week the Opposition called the Government’s pre-K plan fanciful. Now they have shifted to futile, only promising 100 preschools, barely scratching the surface of the need, ambition and vision of the NSW Nationals in the state government.
The government’s Early Years Commitment – a $15.9 billion investment over ten years – is a revolutionary, considered approach backed in by the early childhood sector, business, and the families of NSW.
Through this commitment, every child in NSW will have access to five days per week, free, preschool in the year before school.
The NSW Nationals in the state government are delivering generational reform that will impact and improve the fortunes of all families. The reform starts immediately – with fee relief to families for preschool, regardless of setting, and new sites for preschools identified in 2022-23.
This government’s unprecedented investment in early development and learning delivers a major workforce boost, supports and grows existing local services, and invests in new ones where they are most needed. It delivers family supports and developmental checks to all children through an evidence-based approach to improving the first 2,000 days of life.
Nationals Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the people of NSW are excited about the government’s early learning reforms because they recognise a vision and investment in their children’s future.
“This response from Labor proves they don’t understand the sector or the reform and they certainly don’t have a plan or ambition for the future generations on NSW,” Ms Mitchell said.
“In the last four years alone, this government has delivered more preschool places through our Start Strong funding than Labor’s election commitment would. The Opposition are a day late and a dollar short.
“Comparing their announcement of 100 preschools to Victoria’s plan to build 50 childcare centres is comparing apples to oranges. It is embarrassing and frankly concerning how little the Opposition understands this space.
“Labor’s answer to universal pre-K is to deliver 100 government preschools. This would support around 3,800 children – hardly universal.
“On top of that Labor plans to pillage funds allocated to increasing workforce, providing developmental checks to all children and building the foundations for universal pre-K,” Ms Mitchell said.