August 27th, 2021

Thrive by Five welcomes further Victorian Government investment in the early years.


Thrive by Five welcomes further Victorian Government investment in the early years

27 August 2021 –Thrive by Five has today welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of infrastructure upgrades as part of the Three-Year-Old-Kinder rollout.

The $1.68 billion co-investment between the Victorian Government and the sector to build six new kindergarten buildings on site at Victorian primary schools for 2023, will make kinder more accessible.

Thrive by Five’s CEO Jay Weatherill congratulated Premier Dan Andrews and Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt on the announcement but urged them to advocate for reform of early learning to the Federal Government.

“It’s pleasing to see this commitment to the early years in making early education easier for parents and children to access. The integration with the primary schools will mean parents no longer have to deal with the dreaded double drop off,” he said.

“Alongside this initiative, we would also love to see the Victorian Government investing in early childhood educators and supporting them to continue their essential work. Educators need priority vaccine access and better pay and conditions now.

“We also need to see this rolled out on a national basis through Federal Government investment in reform to make early learning high quality, universally accessible and affordable for everyone. With almost three-quarters of Australians wanting a better system, the message couldn’t be clearer.

“We encourage Premier Dan Andrews to advocate for reform of early learning at National Cabinet and make it a Federal Government priority,” Mr Weatherill said.

Thrive by Five is asking National Cabinet to adopt a five point plan for reform:

  1. Agree to a Federal-State agreement to deliver universal three-year-old preschool across the country to match the partnership agreement in place for four year old preschool.
  2. Lift the childcare subsidy to 95% for all children and set agreed fee caps.
  3. Make the childcare subsidy available to all children regardless of the setting and the income or work status of the parents.
  4. Start workforce planning for a universal system and fund appropriate pay and conditions for educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high staff turnover rates across the sector.
  5. To achieve these outcomes, we ask that early education and childcare become a part of the National Cabinet reform agenda to deal with complexities of the system and build a true national universal system.