Labor pedal policy in Pakenham

La Trobe Labor canidiate Simon Curtis and Shadow Early Childhood Education Minister Amanda Rishworth MP with baby Casey at Cardinia Lakes Early Learning Centre. 189810_04 Pictures: ROB CAREW

By Kyra Gillespie

Labor pollies visited a Pakenham childcare centre to pose for pictures and drive home key policy pledges in the lead-up to the federal election.

Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Amanda Rishworth MP and La Trobe Labor candidate Simon Curtis paid a visit to Cardinia Lakes Early Learning Centre on Tuesday 5 February to re-hash their party’s National Preschool and Kindy Program, which was originally announced in October last year.

Under the proposed scheme, 1.75 billion in funding will be poured into three and four-year-old kinder.

It doubles down on Premier Daniel Andrews’ promise to expand early education for three-year-olds by spending $1.68 billion over ten years to build 785 new kindergartens and upgrade another 170 existing services; which will include around 22 new kinders in Cardinia Shire.

Currently, an agreement between the Morrison government and the states and territories means that funding for four-year-old children to attend 15 hours of preschool per week is only guaranteed until June 30 2020, causing uncertainty for the preschool sector.

Ms Rishworth said Labor’s policy would ensure every child has access to a high quality early education in the years before school.

“It is about supporting families give their children the best possible start,” she said.

Your first stop before buying a home. View the whole picture.