MORE than 30 kindergartens and preschools in Monash need new play equipment, computers and toys.
Waverley Province MP Maree Luckins said a survey she conducted of local preschools showed that the State Government needed to provide them with more than $215,000 in capital works projects and $80,000 in new equipment to “keep our children in a safe and an enjoyable environment”.
The State Liberal MP said conditions in local preschools had not improved since teachers went on strike last July in the fight for better pay and working conditions equal to their primary school counterparts.
“Preschools are struggling to keep pace with increased costs and time required from voluntary committees of management.
“Many teachers have fled the system because of Community Service Minister (Christine) Campbell’s lack of attention,” she said.
“The minister ordered a review into pay conditions of preschool teachers that was due in March.
“It’s now April, the Budget process is drawing to a close and the minister has given no indication or assurance that Cabinet will even consider the issue.”
State Government spokesman Tim Winkler was “perplexed” at how Ms Luckins derived the figures.
“She has not released the questions so it is difficult to know what use the survey is or has,” Mr Winkler said.
“She mentions $215,000 in capital works … capital works are almost all funded by the owner of the kindergarten, usually operated by a church or council.
“The State Government only has a small budget for preschools.
“Last year we gave every preschools $100 for new toys and equipment.”