MEDIA - Call for NSW to make preschool free for further 18 months as NSW economy recovers

MEDIA - Call for NSW to make preschool free for further 18 months as NSW economy recovers Main Image

03 November 2020

The Independent Education Union (IEU) has welcomed a call, issued by the New South Wales Labor party, for the Berejiklian government to make preschool free for a further 18 months to boost workforce participation and kickstart the states economic recovery.

NSW Labor leader, Jodi McKay, has said that free preschool should be included as one of the governments key stimulus measures in the upcoming state budget

Families are struggling. Access to free preschool will ease the pressure on household budgets so kids can stay in vital early learning regardless of their parents financial position, Ms McKay said, adding that, should the Berejiklian government back the initiative, theyll have bipartisan support.

NSW Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Learning Jodie Harrison said it is vital that the NSW government ensures no children fall behind as the state endures one of the worst economic downturns since the Great Depression.

In the long-term, theres nothing more important than giving every child in NSW access to quality education. That starts before school. In this recession, with lots of families doing it tough financially, we want to make sure no children miss out.

The union highlighted the benefits of high quality education and care, including:

providing a 1:2 Return on Investment (According to analysis undertaken by PwC for The Front Project)
closing the workforce participation gap could boost GDP by $60 billion over 20 years.

Further information about the work of the IEU may be found on their website, here.

This article by Freya Lucas originally appeared in The Sector on November 3, 2020.