Tocumwal Preschool is warning its fees will go ‘‘through the roof’’ if the NSW Government freezes funding.December 14, 2012 4:10am
Preschool director Jessica Williams said the state announced the budget measures in the last week, but the problem has been ongoing.
‘‘We are essentially in another funding freeze. This is the second in 23 years with the previous one lasting 20 years,’’ she said.
‘‘If we don’t get funding from the government for preschool fees and for wages, it’s not viable. We won’t stay alive.’’
Ms Williams believes Finley’s Biralee Preschool and the Jerilderie Preschool would feel the same effects, together with preschools across the state.
Victoria’s well-funded preschools compound the problem for NSW organisations, she added.
Ms Williams said preschools over the border charge just $2 per child per day compared to her $18.
‘‘How can we compete? We can’t,’’ she said.
‘‘Without help our fees are going to go through the roof.’’
The director believes some NSW preschools could charge as much as $55 under the freeze.
Ms Williams said it was also difficult to attract early childhood teachers with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) as they are offered more money to work as primary school teachers.
‘‘The pay difference is between $14,000 and $20,000 a year,’’ she said.
‘‘They all want to go into primary schools.’’
She said studies show preschool was the most important time in a child’s life for their development.
‘‘Brain research has shown that children learn more in the first five years than at any other time in their life,’’ she said.
‘‘This is why preschool education is so important, it sets up the architecture in the brain and enables later learning.
‘‘If we know that fact, why aren’t we funding it?
“We are calling on the NSW State Government to invest another $500 million in early education and care to ensure that every child in NSW can access preschool for $15 a day.
‘‘Why should an Australian child miss out on this important part of their education just because they were born in NSW?’’
Ms Williams said in most other states and territories preschool education was free, or less than $10 per day.
The 2011 Productivity Commission report on children’s services noted that NSW has the highest median weekly cost of preschool per child in Australia and the lowest participation rates.
Ms Williams has joined other NSW preschools in a push for more funding, and asked locals to write to NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to highlight their concerns.
NSW preschools are currently running a campaign headed by Albury preschool director, Gabrielle Connell to attract some government attention to the early childhood sector.
The redevelopment of Shepparton Library, which will feature accessible shelving, a teen-specific area, a Skype booth and internet-enabled work stations, will be completed in the next two months.
The Ovens & Murray qualifying final between Yarrawonga and Lavington on Saturday left spectators talking more about the standard of umpiring than the two competing teams.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
The Kiss Angels, 50 Shades of Hope team have come up with a creative way of fundraising for the Relay for Life, a purple potty.
District hotels and businesses may change rosters with penalty rates for casual employees on Sundays set to be cut.
Students visit local businesses for reading lessons
Bottle thrown at Jason Cole in bitter aftermath to Seymour-Benalla game on Saturday.
A truck driver is lucky to be alive after crashing into a Jerilderie home yesterday morning.
Chef and co-owner of Heathcote’s Willow Room Brent Loam is thrilled with the listing in the 2015 Age Good Food Guide
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
A sophisticated hydroponic cannabis system was discovered by police at the Victoria Hotel last week.
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