Pollies eat up early childhood information

Yamba Preschool Director Kerry Hulm was surprised and thrilled when all the politicians active in her electorate responded to her invitation to a morning tea at the north coast preschool.

Kerry and fellow IEU member Julie Smith decided to hold the tea after being inspired by the Bigger Slice for Early Education campaign and the IEU’s Teachers are Teachers campaign.

“I only sent the email out on the Friday for the event on the Tuesday, so I was happy they could all come,” Kerry said.

Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis (Nats), Independent Deborah Novak, Labor’s Trent Gilbert and Christian Democrat Carol Ordish all attended. The Greens representative sent apologies and a supportive letter about early childhood.

Parents made the cakes and about six attended to advocate for early childhood funding with the staff.

“We gave the pollies lots of stats to highlight the fact NSW spends less than any other state on early childhood education,” Kerry said.

“We said the funding slice needed to be increased to make preschool more affordable for families and that three year olds needed to be funded too.”

Kerry said Labor candidate Trent Gilbert was unaware that NSW was the lowest spending state prior to the tea, and said it was “concerning”.

Kerry reported that Chris Gulaptis said the underspending was “shameful” and Deborah Novak said preschools played a really important part in the community.

Gulaptis also raised the issue of equal pay for early childhood teachers with school teachers.

Kerry has previously encouraged parents to send out letters for the Teachers are Teacher campaign, but she hadn’t raised it at the morning tea, so she was pleased a politician was aware of it and raised it unprompted.

Sue Osborne