PRESCHOOLS and long day care services will be a “sea of red” tomorrow to express anger about the lack of funding for education.
Albury Preschool director Gabrielle Connell said the NSW government had axed funding for three-year-olds.
Ms Connell said the justification for the cut was that other states didn’t fund three-year-olds but “why are we back-tracking instead of others stepping up”?
She will join preschool staff from across the state at a protest outside Sydney’s Parliament House tomorrow while those at home back them by wearing fiery red clothing.
“All children should have access to two years of funding before school,” Ms Connell said.
“We also want teachers’ and childcare workers’ pay to increase so we can attract qualified staff.”
Ms Connell said childcare already was un- affordable for some.
“If you don’t fund three-year-olds, fees will double, families won’t be able to afford services and people will lose their jobs,” she said.
That would hit the economy because parents would have to stay home to look after children and not return to work.
“It is proven children with early education have better prospects and less issues as teenagers,” Ms Connell said.
She said the change would particularly hurt those communities that lost their “remote” loading for children and perhaps their status as childcare centres.
“Culcairn, Howlong and Corowa have received ‘remote’ funding,” she said.
Ms Connell wants parents to sign cards and letters to be sent to the Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli.
She said the effect the funding cuts would have on services, families, and communities would be “confronting”.
Ms Connell will speak at the Sydney rally.
“We expect a big turnout at Parliament House,” she said.
She said while fixing the system was a huge task, a plan was needed to do so, even if it took a decade to do it.