Kindy funding win for WA

WA parents could soon access free or low-cost kindergarten and child care in the same location, after the Federal Government adopted a key recommendation from CCIWA in its Budget.

Last week’s Federal Budget has included a measure to ensure Federal funds flow to WA kindy children, no matter where they are learning.

This approach, called “follow the child”, means government funding is supplied to fund a child’s kindergarten regardless of whether it is delivered in a school or childcare centre.

Currently, WA childcare centres cannot access Federal money for their kindy programs, which has resulted in parents juggling multiple kindy providers.

CCIWA highlighted this issue and several others, including the gap between men’s and women’s workforce participation and the failure of some WA kids to reach critical kindergarten benchmarks, in its ‘Making Paid Work Pay for Families With Children’ report.

 

A key recommendation in the report was for kindergarten funding to “follow the child”, which the Federal Budget adopted by providing $1.6 billion over four years to preschool education.

From 2023, this will include ensuring that every child enrolled in an approved kindergarten program will benefit from Commonwealth funding regardless of the setting.

CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey said this funding would make it easier for mothers to return to work and to simplify the daily management of young kids for working parents.

“The funding for kindy should make it easy for parents to choose where their child goes to kindy. Childcare centres offer more flexibility in terms of days available and hours in the day,” he said.

“Kindy in schools can be on different days each week and restricted hours during the day – that’s out of step with modern work, and is failing working parents.

“It shouldn’t be harder for WA mums and dads than for other Australians.”

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