The Federal Government has refused to commit to funding preschool and kindergarten services beyond 2014.
“For the Abbott Government to even consider ripping money out of preschools at the same time finding money for $75,000 parental leave payments to high income women demonstrates completely twisted priorities,” Member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon said.
The State Liberal Government has put politics aside, warning that families would lose at least a day of preschool every week if Abbott pursued these cuts.
Before the election, Tony Abbott promised: TONY ABBOTT: There will be no cuts to health, no cuts to education. (5 September 2013) “Tony Abbott is getting set to break this promise yet again.
"Cutting this funding will put up fees, reduce hours and may even force services to close.
"It will also leave many parents scrambling to find replacement child care, putting even more pressure waiting lists and fees."
Research shows children who attended preschool go on to score significantly better in Year 3 NAPLAN tests and in Year 4 reading, maths and science.
"The early years are the most important in a child's development," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
"These cuts will cost our education system and our economy a lot more in the long run, leaving Australian children to slip between the cracks."
In 2008, before Labor introduced universal access funding for preschool and kindergarten, just 12 per cent of Australian children received 15 hours or more of quality education in the year before school. In 2012 that figure had risen to over 56 per cent.
"Tony Abbott looks set to return us to the situation we had under the Howard Government - where just 1 in 10 Australian children has access to 15 hours of preschool per week," Mr Fitzgibbon said.