Federation welcomes Opposition Leader’s commitment to build more public preschools

The NSW Teachers Federation has today welcomed Opposition Leader Chris Minns’s announcement that a Labor State Government will provide a preschool for every new public primary school as well as building 100 extra public preschools in its first term.

Mr Minns used his Budget reply speech on Thursday to lay out Labor’s plan to expand the provision of public preschools in primary schools as well as committing to universal free pre-kindergarten before 2030.

NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said the union has long been calling for a major expansion of the number of public preschools across the State.

Currently, NSW has only 100 public preschools across 1700 public primary school sites.

That is an appallingly low number of public preschools, a number that denies thousands of pre-kindergarten children access to critical early intervention programs.

The Perrottet Government’s recent budget announcement regarding preschools failed to prioritise the expansion of public preschooling provision. The government has the responsibility to provide free preschooling as part of the broader public provision of primary and secondary education.

The evidence has long been in. Investment in public preschools will reap so many benefits for young people, especially our most vulnerable.

In addition to preparing children for kindergarten, public preschooling provides the means for teachers to identify any developmental or learning issues, facilitate necessary diagnoses, organise appropriate medical/therapeutic interventions and facilitate access to interagency support and services,” said Mr Rajendra.

We will work closely with any government that places a priority on the funding for universal public preschools and I wholeheartedly welcome the Opposition’s announcement today,” he added.