Greens Election Policies, two years of pre-school education for all NSW children
Childcare worker and kids
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The Two Years of Pre-School Education Policy was announced yesterday at the Greens Balmain Policy Launch as follows ;
"Australia is heading to universal one year access for all children.
While this is a step forward, it falls well short of the OECD standard of 2 years. It also ignores the growing body of evidence that two years provides substantial benefits over one and that the costs of additional time have been justified by rigorous studies of the short and long term economic benefits.
The Greens would:
• Initially offer 10,000 children the opportunity to enter a government preschool for an additional one year. These students would then experience two years of preschool for two days per week. These places would be initially targeted to Aboriginal families and disadvantaged communities.
• Work with the Commonwealth to extend access to two years of preschool for all children by 2018. The estimated additional costs of the first stage of the policy are:
• $28 million per year for additional teachers,
• $100 million capital works in the first year to build additional classrooms.
The benefits are well established in international studies and comprehensively outweigh the costs. Most OECD countries offer universal access for two years.
The immediate benefits include increased enthusiasm and performance at school, including better attention and time on task, leading to enhanced learning outcomes. Children with pre-schooling interact better with other children, feel more secure and are less likely to need additional assistance at school.
One study of 1,372 preschools in New Jersey identified significant gains in vocabulary.
A recently published Michigan State University study found that two years of preschool is better than one. The leading researcher Lori Skibbe concluded that:
"Children should be spending more time in preschool, not less, because the results appear to be cumulative."
Longer term benefits include:
• lower rates of contact with the criminal justice system,
• lower rates of unemployment, teenage pregnancy and ill health,
• increased enrolment in higher education, and • higher lifetime incomes.
The cost of an additional preschool teacher is less than $95,000 a year while the state loses $100,000 for every adult in jail.
If each preschool teacher is responsible for just one person not going to jail, they will have paid their wages.
While the statistics are hard to pin down, less than 14 percent of children under the age of 6 receive two years of preschool.
Greens candidate for Balmain and Mayor of Leichhardt Jamie Parker said: "Australia is struggling to catch up with the OECD and the international evidence on the benefits of pre-school education.
“There are a significant number of families from indigenous and low income backgrounds living in the Balmain electorate and these children will get the best start in life under the Greens’ preschool plan.
“If elected I will campaign to drive this initiative for those Balmain families who would most benefit from pre-school education.
"More pre-schooling will save money in the long run as costs in the health, criminal justice and school education systems decline.
"NSW can lead the nation in catching up with other OECD countries. The standard must be access to preschool for two years for all children if this state wants to reap the full benefits of early childhood education," Mr Parker said."
This is the end of the policy statement from the NSW Greens?
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