Preschoolers raging it up

Goonellabah preschoolers (l to r) Thalia Hipkins, Tyler Bolt, Tahlia Furness, Bernadette Clarke and Edward Daley took part in a state-wide Day of Rage last Friday, protesting against the high cost of preschool education due to a lack of government funding. The children painted paper plates red and white and mounted them on the front gate, with the red plates symbolising the estimated 40 per cent of children missing out on preschool education because their parents cannot afford it. Goonellabah Preschool teacher Peta Riordan said they missed out on the last round of state government funding to help lower fees, which at Goonellabah were $23 dollars a day, or $14 for low income families. She said the state average was $30 a day. Meanwhile in other states parents pay around $5 a day. She said many parents had pulled their children out of preschool or reduced the number of days their children attended simply because they couldnt afford it. She said structured preschool programmes give kids vital social, language and cognitive skills before heading off to big school and those not attending were at a distinct disadvantage.

If youre interested in finding out what the candidates for the state seat of Lismore would do about this issue (if elected), The Echo is hosting a Meet The Candidates forum next Thursday evening at the Star Court Theatre in Lismore. See page 3 for more details.

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