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Friday, 25 September 1970

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Education and Science, upon notice:

What would be the cost of providing all eligible . Australian children with pre-school education of the nature and standard now provided in the Australian Capital Territory.

Mr N H Bowen (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows: ". It is not realistic to attempt to estimate the cost of providing pre-school education over the whole of Australia on the basis described by the honourable member. There are basic differences between the Australian Capita] Territory and other areas in many of the factors which affect costs in the provision of pre-school education, such as the geographic spread of the pre-school aged population, the size of the pre-school centres which would be required, costs of acquisition and development of sites for centres, building costs, attendance patterns and salary levels.

Estimates based on applying figures appropriate under one set of conditions to. areas where conditions differ so substantially could not help but be misleading.

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