It doesn't matter what you call it, it is vital that parents have the opportunity to ensure their kids can get a quality early education.
When government funding is only agreed upon on a year-by-year basis it creates a level of unnecessary uncertainty for parents who just want to make sure their kids can get along to a kindy or preschool that's affordable and good quality.
Yet that's what has been happening for years and here we are again, but this time it's a little different.
Federal funding is coming to an end next year (2020) and the Government has commissioned a major review to determine whether they will continue funding preschool programs beyond 2020.
So preschool funding is now seriously at risk. If the Commonwealth does not renew its funding, parents could face an increased cost of around $30 a week to keep their children in a preschool program.
This why it's so important parents have a chance to have a say as the government's review of preschool funding could have serious implications on us as parents.
Currently, more than 95% of Australian children attend a teacher-led preschool program in the year before school. About half attend through a standalone preschool (either part of a school or community run) and half attend through their long day care centre.
The States provide about two thirds of preschool funding, while the Commonwealth provides about one third, guaranteeing all children access to 600 hours of preschool delivered by a qualified teachers each year (i.e. 15 hours a week).
Without national leadership from the Commonwealth Government, preschool access and affordability could look very different for families across Australia, depending on where they live, what they earn and where they send their child to preschool.
The evidence on the benefits of preschool programs are very clear:
So, we need your help.
The Parenthood wants to ensure that the voice of parents is well and truly heard in the review of preschool funding - if you haven't done so already - click here to complete our survey to contribute to our submission to the review.
With federal funding at risk early educators are on edge, parents are stressed over what will happen after next year and worse, if they decide to pull funding altogether it makes life as a parent even harder! And worst still, kids miss out on good quality early learning.
Tell the Federal Government that early education is VITAL and funding it securely and sustainably in the 2020 Budget (just like they do for school) is what our kids deserve.
We don't want any kids missing out on important early learning. It's time to fund kindy properly NOW.