Massive change to early childcare will see MILLIONS of preschool children given FREE education as two states introduce historic $14billion policy
- Children in NSW and Victoria to receive an additional year of early education
- Students can enrol in pre-Kindergarten classes that will run five days a week
- Classes aren’t compulsory with households to receive five days free education
- Premier Dominic Perrottet said policy would see children thrive across the state
Millions of children across NSW and Victoria will receive an additional year of education in a major overhaul that will see ‘pre-Kindergarten’ introduced.
The policy will be brought in to improve education standards across both states and see students score higher paying jobs after leaving school.
The extra year of classes will see children attend five days a week for free and will cost the NSW state government an estimated $5.8billion over the next decade, and Victoria $9billion.
Millions of children across NSW and Victoria will receive an additional year of preschool education in a major overhaul to early childcare (pictured, preschool students in Sydney)
The policy will also take pressure off families paying for childcare in the year before school by increasing free preschool from three to five days per week.
Up to 130,000 children are expected to enrol in the the NSW pre-Kindergarten classes by 2030, which are not compulsory, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the program would see children thrive across NSW.
‘This is an incredible reform that will change lives and deliver enormous educational benefits for children across the state, securing a brighter future for NSW families,’ the premier said.
‘We’re ensuring our youngest learners thrive by introducing a full year of preschool education before Kindergarten.’
The state government will spend $54million designing a model for how the week’s worth of classes will be taught to pre-Kindergarten students.
Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured visiting an early learning centre in Sydney on Monday) said the new program would see children thrive across NSW
The Victorian scheme will provide 15 hours of pre-Kindy a week for all children aged three and four in 2023, and a universal pre-prep year from 2025, the Herald Sun reports.
This will amount to a free 30 hours of education per week and savings of up to $2,500 per child.
Premier Dan Andrews said: ‘These massive reforms are about setting our kids up for the future and investing in women – who for far too long have had to do far too much.’
‘These are big changes, but they just make sense.’
NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said parents across the state could expect ‘intergenerational results for our kids and the economy’.
The policy will also provide five days of free childcare, an additional two to the three currently enjoyed by households in NSW (pictured, children at a early learning centre in Sydney)
The policy is expected to be the most efficient way of boosting declining education standards with a similar model experiencing great success in Canada.
Mr Kean described the extra year of education as the closest thing to a ‘silver bullet’ when it came to improving NSW education.
The new policy is expected to be at the centre of next week’s state budget, which the treasurer said was focused on ‘investing in a better future’.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell hinted the classes would be ‘play-based learning’ and said she had been pushing for the extra year of education since seeing its success in Canada, where 90 per cent of families enrolled.
In a joint statement, the premiers said the new policy was ‘the greatest transformation of early education in a generation’.