Fiona Phillips

LABOR ON BOARD WITH $2.5 MILLION COMMITMENT FOR MOBILE EARLY START “DISCOVERY SPACE” AT UOW

A Shorten Labor Government would invest $2.5 million to develop a mobile “Discovery Space” for the University of Wollongong to take to regional and remote communities including primary schools, preschools, early childhood centres and playgroups.

This election will be a choice between a Shorten Labor Government with a plan for education, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos.

The Discovery Space Bus will be a revolutionary initiative that uniquely combines research, teaching and community engagement in the earliest years of life. The bus will be able travel throughout the Shoalhaven and Eurobodalla Shires including to regional and remote communities.

Over 90 per cent of the visitors to the Early Start Discovery Space at the University of Wollongong are from Illawarra and surrounding areas.  Children living in low SES or geographically remote locations have limited or no access to opportunities such as this to engage with learning.

This project aims to provide a stimulating mobile play based learning environment for children living in regional and remote communities.  The project will support curriculum aligned play-based learning. 

The funding for the project will allow the University of Wollongong to take a purpose fitted truck to primary schools, preschools, playgroups and community centres in regional and rural towns.  The University plans to reach between 10,000 and 15,000 children per year. The project will involve:

  • Purchasing and fitting-out a 4.5 tonne truck with shelving and storage to safely transport equipment and activities across regional and remote towns.
  • Purchasing equipment especially for the outreach program that would support curriculum-based activities.
  • Engaging a transdisciplinary team (early childhood teachers, primary school teachers, arts, engineering and technology professionals) to be the education officer to provide the activities.

This announcement builds on Labor’s policy to make the single biggest investment in early education with our National Preschool and Kindy Program - providing ongoing, permanent funding to four-year-old and extending this to include three-year-olds.

Labor knows the value of early education and that this will give our children the best start in school and life. All the research tells us this is good for our economy and good for our children.

Labor’s National Preschool and Kindy Program will make a huge difference to 11,612 local preschoolers across the Illawarra and South Coast:

ELECTORATE

3 YEAR OLDS

4 YEAR OLDS

TOTAL

Gilmore

1,557

2,002

3,559

Cunningham

1,818

2,057

3,875

Whitlam

1,913

2,265

4,178

Total

5,288

6,324

11,612

Scott Morrison and the Liberals have cut kindy funding after 2020.

Labor has also committed to delivering a massive cost of living relief for nearly one million families struggling with the costs of child care.  From July next year, Labor will put more money back in working parents’ pockets for 887,000 Australian families – slashing up to $2,100 per child off their annual child care bill.  Every single working family in Australia earning up to $174,000 will get cheaper child care with Labor.  

Bill Shorten and Labor will deliver a fair go for all Australians, after six years of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.

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