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Universal Kinder: Having a seat at the table has impact

At EMILY’s List we often talk about the impact of having women at the decision-making tables is a broader, more representative legislative program. In January 2020 the Victoria Government announced it was investing almost $5 billion over ten years, so that children across the state will have access to two years of funded kindergarten programs.

Did we mention Victoria’s government is made up of 48% women? A stark contrast to the Federal government’s decision, by the zero female representation executive committee, to remove the free childcare and wind back jobkeeper for childcare workers.

Sonya Kilkenny, Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and ELA Supporter, worked alongside the Minister for Education and Premier to introduce universal subsidised kindergarten for every single three-year-old Victorian child.

We invest in education because it is the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do. By investing in education, we are investing in our communities and the very core of those communities.
— Sonya Kilkenny, State Member for Carrum
Sonya Kilkenny visited Minyip Kinder a leader in the roll out of funded three-year-old kinder
MP Sonya Kilkenny stand with a group of 3 year olds in a playgroundinder one of the leaders in the roll out of funded three-year-old kinder

As Australian and international research shows 90 per cent of a child’s brain development takes place before they turn 5, access to quality early childhood education is essential to the future of our children. Every child should have the best start in life, with access to safe, quality early childhood education – getting the support they need to learn, to play, to grow and to thrive.

The benefits extend beyond the obvious impact on children, there are substantial long-term educational and economic benefits to gain. For every $1 invested in early childhood education, Australia receives $2 back over a child's life - through higher productivity and earning capacity, and reduced government spending on health, welfare and crime. 1

Evidence shows parents with access to early childhood education are more likely to join or re-join the workforce. Increased workforce participation improves skills and employability leading to higher earnings over time, greater superannuation contributions and helps build financial independence.

Women's participation in politics is crucial, it changes politics and policies and creates better public policy for the benefit of the whole community. Now more than ever we need to ensure women are representing us in our houses of parliament.

Are you able to support progressive Labour women to gain access to the corridors of power? You can donate to the EMILY’s List Early Money Fund or support current candidates directly.


[1] A Smart Investment for a Smarter Australia, PricewaterhouseCoopers & The Front Project

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