ECE funding review required to drive quality and fairness
The Early Childhood Council is calling on the government to prioritise an Early Childhood Education funding review as the COVID-19 economic crisis continues to bite.
With stakeholders across early learning labelling the current funding model broken, a review is urgently needed to drive participation, improved education outcomes and fairness.
“Funding must be fair no matter the size of the pie. We agree with the Auditor General that complex government funding systems should be simplified, and need an open conversation about transparency without creating the expectation of increased dollars or bad will,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.
“Parents are taxpayers, and deserve to know how the millions of tax dollars we invest contribute to their children’s education. Explaining how the current system works and why kindergartens receive 16% more than community and privately owned centres doing the same job isn’t easy.”
The ECC has already released a draft Terms of Reference for a proposed funding review which aims to drive:
- Improved ability to share and target resources
- Accountability for public investment
“We believe putting the child at the centre of a quality ECE system, with a funding model that focuses on outcomes and incentivises quality is essential. A complicated funding model with compliance for compliance’s sake serves no purpose and offers little surety to parents of quality,” said Mr Reynolds.