Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has called on the Federal Government to show leadership in the wake of Queensland’s decision to make kindergarten free for all families from 2024.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Last year, NSW and Victoria announced that every child would have access to free preschool for a year and now, Queensland is introducing free kindergarten for four year olds. It's time for the Federal Government to catch up.
“The leadership of state governments really exposes the lack of ambition at the federal level to deliver universal, free early childhood education and care.
“Delivering free early childhood education and care would have a transformative effect on children's development, enable more women to join the workforce and make a significant difference to the many families struggling to make ends meet during this cost of living crisis.
“We need an early childhood education and care system we can be proud of, one where every child in this country has access to high quality, free, accessible early childhood education and care no matter their post code, bank balance or background.
“Universal and free access must go hand in hand with a commitment to improving working conditions for early childhood educators, who desperately need a pay rise which reflects the crucial role they play in the development of our children."