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100% funding band leaves ECE centres 16.4% short - ECC

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Community and privately-owned early learning centre funding will still languish 16.4% behind kindergartens in the future, even with the return of the 100% qualified teacher funding band.

That means children’s education in the largest part of the early childhood education sector is valued less than in kindergartens, and inequalities baked into the current funding model look set to continue.

Running the early learning funding numbers shows:

- In July 2021, kindergartens will receive $14.87 an hour per child for the 20 funded hours, while centres receive $12.77, or $2.10 per hour less

- Even if centres’ funding was adjusted for inflation, they’d only receive $13.09 per hour, or $1.78 behind kindergartens on the same date

Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds said "Centres teach the same kids, employ the same teachers with the same qualifications and obey the same regulations - so why is the 100% band worth 16.4% less than kindergartens?"

"Parents, who’ve been choosing centres over kindergartens in increasing numbers, deserve an answer," said Mr Reynolds.

The ECC is calling for a top to bottom review of the ECE funding model, starting with the needs of the child and working backwards.

"The current funding model is broken. Parents deserve choice and transparency about how the government funds their children’s education, and the current model falls well short," said Mr Reynolds.

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