Report and Implications of the Independent Inquiry into the Provision of Universal Access to high quality preschool education in Australia . Kathy Walker Michaela Kronemann. XXIV World Congress of OMEP. Who is the AEU?.
Report and Implications of the Independent Inquiry into the Provision of Universal Access to high quality preschool education in Australia
XXIV World Congress of OMEP
The Australian Education Union represents 155,000 teachers and education workers in public education, from preschools to schools to technical and further education institutes, across Australia.
Early childhood education is a key AEU priority:
State funding levels vary – NSW & Victoria are the lowest.
Report on Government Services 2003
OECD, Education at a Glance 2002
Education departments also responsible for child care in SA, Tasmania and ACT.
New links emerging between education and childcare and health in some systems.
year 1, but fulltime prep. in 2006.
(avg. $12 p. day for younger children in C & K)
SA free or voluntary contribution ACT NT
239,270 children in preschool education
193,809 Commonwealth approved long day care places for 0-4 year olds in 2002.
Report on Government Services 2003
Are all who attend
getting access to
Terms of Reference
Independent researcher: Kathy Walker
GROUPS WHICH REPRESENT CHILDREN MOST LIKELY TO NOT HAVE EQUAL ACCESS
“I can’t help feeling like it really is just the luck of the draw as to whether or not you receive a preschool education. It seems to depend upon where you live in Australia and not that you are Australian that provides you with equitable access to a free quality preschool education.”
Costs to parents are a major barrier to preschool access, particularly in NSW and Victoria.
Lack of adequate funding, resources and supports for preschool education for children with special needs is a significant barrier to equity and access.
Differences in terminology for preschool and the first year of school reflect a fragmentation of preschool programs across Australia and are particularly problematic for families who move between states.
Significant differences in government funding levels and models contribute to unequal access to preschool education across Australia.
There is currently no national plan or vision for preschool education across Australia other than to leave it to the responsibility of each state and territory
Anational plan for preschool education be developed between the Commonwealth and states and territories to ensure equity and access to high quality preschool
The provision of high quality and accessible preschool education for all children in the year before commencing school is free for all children across Australia and is acknowledged at a federal level as a universal right.
It is recommended that the Commonwealth reintroduce dedicated funding for preschool education and that Commonwealth and state and territory governments jointly provide the full costs of preschool education.
The Commonwealth and State and Territory governments give priority to ensuring access to high quality preschool education for Indigenous children across the country;
Access to two years of preschool education be provided for all Indigenous children
Current initiatives that link health, education and community programs be increased and expanded. Higher levels of coordination between services should be established between government and non-government organisations in direct consultation with Indigenous communities.
The Commonwealth, and state and territory governments provide a significant and immediate increase in funding to provide adequate supports and resources for children with special needs.
It is recommended that preschools and child care centres across Australia come under the jurisdiction of the departments of Education in each state and territory and provide continuity for children and families between child care, preschool and the first year of school.
Kathy Walker email@example.com