Local preschools underfunded

Like Nimbin Preschool (Echo, February 1), Clunes Preschool is suffering the effects of the funding crisis in NSW preschools, and we too have no option but to raise fees.

While Labor candidate Peter Lanyon (Letters, Echo, February 1) is sympathetic to the plight of preschools and is vocal about the excellent job that community preschools do, the reality is that the $85 million invested by state Labor is nowhere near enough to make preschools affordable for families.

In fact, the viability funding allocated in late December (designed to rescue preschools) was so paltry that there was simply not enough to go around, and preschools such as Nimbin, Clunes, and many others on the North Coast missed out completely.

The unfortunate consequence of this is that families in Clunes will cut back their childrens attendance or wont bring their children at all. State Labors record investment is of little comfort to the families who are struggling to pay fees and the preschool staff who are trying to provide quality services on limited funding.

Peter Lanyon is right in saying that the Iemma government still has work to do on this issue. In the lead up to the state election, staff and parents watch and wait to see if the state government will rise to the challenge!

Melinda Gambley

Director, Clunes Community Preschool

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