Queensland largest kindergarten provider, C&K has come out in support of the Federal Government’s announcement today to extend Universal Access funding for a further two years.
Prime Minister, Tony Abbott announced this morning that $840 million would be set aside for two years that guarantees all four year olds up to 15 hours a week at preschool.
Michael Tizard, CEO of C&K says this is welcome relief in an otherwise uncertain time. We have been calling on the program to be continued since 2013 when funding was extended for one year.
“Since the announcement of an extension of funding for 12 months until the end of 2015 C&K has been among a group of key stakeholders lobbying for greater certainty of funding into the future and so this announcement is fantastic news.
“It is pleasing to see that this is one of the first announcements for families prior to the release of the Federal Government Families Package and the Federal Budget,” Mr Tizard said.
“We have provided all the research into the importance of preschool and kindergarten programs and the difference the funding has made to the number of children enrolled in programs since its introduction and the government has listened to us.”
“Queensland preschool attendance rates have risen from 28% in 2009 prior to the introduction of Universal Access 97% in in 2013. We still have work to do with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities whose attendance is below the state and national averages with 78% of children attending kindergarten programs in Queensland. “
“This announcement is important to the lives of our children, families, 400 services, schools and communities and we look forward to receiving more positive news in the coming days with the release of the Families Package,” Mr Tizard said.
Michael Tizard, CEO of C&K is available for comment on 0407 354 789
The Office of the Prime Minster's Press Release can be read here