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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 March 2017) . . Page.. 1168 ..

The impacts of uncertainty regarding future funding, such as reduced stakeholder confidence, further highlight the critical role of funding in ongoing policy delivery.

We know from the amount that is provided through the national partnership agreement that this is a $7 million a year risk to the ACT budget and funding for preschool. Nationally, it is $400 million. This is money used to keep 15 hours of preschool for all children and to keep it free. Of course, this money is also being used to upgrade facilities and to improve the qualifications of early childhood educators, which we know is so crucial in providing better outcomes for children.

The commonwealth government really must commit to an ongoing agreement on funding for preschool for children in the year before full-time school as early as possible this year to provide certainty to families enrolling their children for 2018 and certainty to providers of preschool who need to plan for budgets and staffing.

Without federal funding for preschool, hours will be cut and working parents will be left scrambling to find alternative arrangements, putting even more pressure on waiting lists and costs. We cannot afford to have a situation where the commonwealth either cuts funding or provides funding at 12 seconds to midnight before the end of the calendar year, leaving parents and services facing uncertainty until the last minute, as they have done with previous agreements.

Canberra parents and children deserve much more than that. It is time the commonwealth committed to ongoing funding for our preschools. Around the world, smart countries are investing in early childhood education, and we should too in Australia. I thank Ms Cody for bringing forward this important issue today as a matter of public importance.

Discussion concluded.


Motion (by Mr Gentleman) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Fraser Primary School fete

Charny Carny

Hawker School fete

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (4.17): Like spring, the arrival of autumn heralds fete season in Belconnen. While I do not need to remind the Assembly how well Belconnen does fetes, I do want to briefly draw its attention to some of the community spirit I have witnessed over the past month.

Early this month marked the Fraser Primary School fete. This year the theme of the Fraser fete was science, technology, engineering and maths. I have spoken a little in

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