As part of Early Learning Matters Week, Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP will today launch a new Federal Government Funding for Bendigo Preschools Campaign during a visit to Shine Bright Huntly Kindergarten.

Ms Chesters will meet with parents, teachers and support staff to ask them to sign a petition calling on the Liberal Federal Government to fund its share of universal access to preschool and kinder programs.

“It’s just out outrageous that the Liberals are axing their share of funding for 4 year old preschools. The cost of preschool is already high and now centres could be forced to increase fees,” Ms Chesters said.

That is why Labor has launched our campaign, including a petition, calling on the Liberal Government to reverse funding cuts and commit long term to universal access to preschools.

“This lack of support for preschools by the Liberal Government means families and staff across Bendigo can’t plan for the future.
“When I talk to parents there is disbelief that the Liberal Government would even consider cutting such a successful program. This is not the first time since the Liberals came to office in 2013 that we have had to run this campaign.

“It’s disappointing that the Liberals continue to ignore Bendigo preschools, teachers and parents. The Liberal Government need to stop making excuses and commit to long term funding certainty for our preschools,” Ms Chesters said.

As part of the campaign Ms Chesters, will visit kindergartens in and around Bendigo over the next few weeks to speak directly with parents and staff that are understandably anxious about cuts to funding.

“The preschool teachers and support staff are very anxious that if funding is discontinued, they will have no choice but to put the cost back on parents, many of whom will be forced to take their children out.

“Ultimately it is the children who will miss out. We know that access to quality early childhood education gives our children the best head start to school and for life,” Ms Chesters said.

5-12 August is Early Education Matters week and is a great opportunity for the community to reflect on the importance and benefits of early education for all of our youngest minds.