Wednesday 9 May 2012
Budget initiatives continue support for quality early education and care for children
The Federal Budget’s commitments to provide additional funding to JETCCFA (jobs and education training childcare fees assistance) and to assist in attracting Early Childhood Teachers into remote/regional areas are important steps towards implementing the national quality reform agenda in early childhood education and care, according to Early Childhood Australia (ECA).
The peak advocacy organisation for young children said the commitment of an additional $225.1m over 4 years to the JETCCFA program would provide for growth in early childhood education and care services.
"The JETCCFA program has already been highly successful in supporting parents and providing children with access to high quality early childhood education and care," said ECA Chief Executive Officer Pam Cahir.
"Providing an additional 130 000 families with access to this assistance is great for low income parents and their children.
"Children’s exposure to high quality early childhood education and care at a young age underpins the development of confidence and self esteem and provides a platform for all future learning.
"Children and the nation have much to gain from this.
Ms Cahir said ECA also welcomed the broadened eligibility criteria for the HECS HELP Benefit for early childhood education teachers by doubling the number of postcode areas that teachers can be in, on order to be access the assistance.
"This is an important initiative if early childhood teachers are to be attracted to services in remote and regional Australia.
"It is essential that we have a specialised, professional and qualified workforce delivering quality education and care to babies and young children – no matter where you are in Australia.
"Initiatives like this bring us closer to ensuring that all Australian children are getting the education and opportunities they deserve."
For more information contact:
Pam Cahir, 0407 008 524
Laura Maclean 0423 377 567