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Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Page: 12483

Mr TUDGE (Aston) (13:45): For some time now I have been warning the government that, if they do not change the universal access policy for four-year-old kinders, then three-year-old kinders across Victoria would have to close. Last week I was disappointed to have to announce that the first kinder in Victoria did indeed announce that it would be closing its doors in 2013 due to the universal access policy of the government. The president of the Templestowe Heights Pre School, the preschool in question, wrote to her parents saying that:

… due to the Government's introduction of 15 hours for kindergarten for all 4 year olds from 2013, we have no other option but to cancel our three-year-old group.

This is just the first of many kindergartens across Victoria that will be closing its doors due to the government's intransigent position on the universal access policy. All it needs to do is to provide flexibility to the kindergartens to implement this policy as it sees fit and to accommodate its local infrastructure and staffing capacity.

I have been warning the government that three-year-old kinders will be closing and they are now starting to do so. The parliament has passed a resolution calling for the minister to provide flexibility. We simply say: 'Provide flexibility or more kinders will close their doors.' (Time expired)