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United Workers Union members in early education welcome today’s announcement by the Victorian Government to invest in early education.

The Andrews government has announced $9 billion over the next decade will deliver free kinder across the state, a new year of pre-prep for 4-year-olds, and 50 new government operated centres. Centres will be located in areas of most need and co-located with primary schools. Educators at the new centres will be directly employed by the government.

Quotes attributable to Helen Gibbons, Director Early Education, United Workers Union:

“By increasing funding and access to early education, the Victorian government is investing in a better future for Victorian families and educators.

“Children and families deserve a truly high quality early learning system that is universally accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what kind of background they come from.

“This announcement means Victorian families will be able to access early learning for 3 and 4 year olds for free, making a huge difference to thousands of working parents.

“In the past week we’ve seen two very different approaches to addressing the crisis in early education. The New South Wales government has chosen to increase funding to a private market which has failed to deliver affordable and accessible early learning. The only sure outcome will be an increase in profits.

“The Victorian government has chosen a new approach, by building and operating public centres to provide the access to early learning which private operators have not.

“This is a great step forward for the early learning sector.

“The new Victorian model also has the potential to address the staffing crisis by providing decent jobs for educators. The New South Wales announcement does nothing to address the workforce crisis in the sector.

“Early educators have a vision for a world-class early education system in Australia. That will only be possible with real reforms like those announced by the Victorian government today.”



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