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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 8 Hansard (13 August) . . Page.. 2411..


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Education—early childhood

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (10.01): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) evidence that shows that attendance at preschool has a significant positive effect on literacy and numeracy outcomes for students;

(b) the ACT Government provides up to 12 hours of free preschool education through schools;

(c) that the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education has enabled the increase in preschool hours to 15 hours;

(d) research highlighting the significant gains in cognitive development by children who attend 15 hours of preschool per week;

(e) the increase in Australia's productivity that is estimated to occur as a result of improved quality and access to early childhood education;

(f) that the Productivity Commission has recommended that the Australian Government continue to provide funding to preschool programs to 15 hours a week for 40 weeks in the year prior to schooling;

(g) that the Productivity Commission has also recommended that the Australian Government also provide funding to 15 hour preschool programs in long day care centres;

(h) the current National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education between the ACT and Australian Governments expires on 31 December 2014;

(i) while the most recent Australian Government budget has made a contingency for the continuation of this partnership, the amount and duration is unspecified; and

(j) delays in negotiation for the continuation of the national partnership are causing great uncertainty amongst parents and educators as to the future of preschool programs in 2015; and


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