It’s time to have the early learning funding conversation

14 September 2020

The Early Childhood Council welcomes the promise to review the early learning funding model in the National Party’s education policy announcement today.

“We welcome this commitment to fixing the broken funding model,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

“This is a chance to use funding to better incentivise quality - fixing the ECE funding model is not about the size of the investment, but how it’s used.”

“The focus on transparency for parents, as well as assurance around quality and how their tax money contributes to their children’s education is to be applauded. The onus will be on operators to meet the standards set, but it’s a chance for everyone in our sector to show the value we offer,” said Mr Reynolds.

Other positives in today’s announcement includes:

  • Lowered ratio for children under two
  • Commitment to reaching teacher pay parity
  • Investment in teacher professional development
  • Reduced red tape for centres

The ECC is keen to see more detail on how the proposed policies work with the Early Learning Action Plan, and to ensure spot checks are not unnecessarily punitive and learning passports do not increase the administration burden on centres.

“We’re unclear on the merits of the move to lower heath checks from 4 to 3-year olds. We see education’s role as helping identify the learning support needs of the child and playing our part in partnership with health providers and parents to find the best solution. The proposed approach risks creating rifts in the relationship between teachers and parents, and we feel there must be a better way to achieve this goal.”

“We’re delighted to have some early learning policy to get into at last, and look forward to seeing the contributions from the other parties,” said Mr Reynolds.

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