Reimbursing parents for the cost of childcare will be an election priority for Independent Schools Victoria, Chief Executive Michelle Green said today.
(Media Release – 2 October 2014)
Speaking on ABC Radio, Ms Green said there is a real inequity in early learning funding.
Kindergarten places at Independent schools receive between $503 and $1633 per child annually from the Victorian Government compared with $3091 for children attending profit-making commercial early learning centres and kindergartens and those run by the government or Catholic schools.
Ms Green said it was raised in the last two state elections and both the Labor and Liberal parties said they would fix the problem – ‘its not fixed, and that will be a high priority for us going into the election’.
Independent Schools Victoria wants funding for the 6000-plus registered places for early childhood learning at not-for-profit Independent schools to match that for commercially-run kindergartens, government and Catholic centres.
Ms Green said that Independent school early learning centres are required to follow the same guidelines as others but they receive less than half the amount of funding.
Parents choose early learning at an Independent school where their other children go to school or because it meets the family’s cultural, social or religious values.
‘People have a right to send their child to an early learning centre that meets their needs,’ Ms Green said