Parents concerned: Federal preschool scheme short-changes ACT

Public school parents are worried that the ACT education budget will be left short-changed after a Federal preschool subsidy scheme has been restructured.


“The new federal scheme dictates that the preschool subsidy will be given to private preschools and day care centres in addition to public schools. However, no additional funding is provided to cover these extra private centres.”

“This is not a continuation of the original scheme, but a new one. One which may force the hand of the ACT Government to spend additional local funds. Minister Pyne has made a great deal of the need to ‘treat the states like adults’ on education issues, yet here we see him dictating how this funding must be used - not only Commonwealth funds, but how ACT money is to be used as well.”

“We are concerned the ACT Government will have to make up the difference from the education budget, leaving our public schools out of pocket,” said Hugh Boulter from the ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations – the ACT’s peak representative body for public school parents.

The ‘universal access’ scheme was brought in by the former Labor federal government to ensure all families could access up to 15 hours of preschool per week – an amount recognised by international research as providing benefits to 4 year olds. In September, the Federal Education Minister agreed to continue the funding for 2015.

“In September the federal government announced it would continue the scheme to offer certainly for 2015, but there is no certainty. It is December and the arrangements for next year have not yet been finalised.”


Released Decmber 12, 2014