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More than 2,200 preschool children across Gippsland will benefit from a national funding boost of $400 million announced by the Federal Government.

Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said the funding would provide 15 hours a week of quality early learning in the year before the children begin school.

“We know that a quality preschool education lays the foundations for a successful transition to full-time school and future learning success,” Mr Chester said.

“Gippsland preschools will share an additional $2.9 million from the Federal Government to make sure they provide the best possible educational opportunities for local children.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Government had extended the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.

“Between our $427.8 million this year and $440 million in 2019 for preschools as well as our overhaul of the child care system and $2.5 billion extra investment, the Turnbull Government’s commitment to early childhood education and care and is clear,” Minister Birmingham said.

“The challenge we now need to confront is that for all of the funding support, more than a quarter of children enrolled for preschool aren’t attending for the full 15 hours.

“That means some children in the earliest years of education are starting behind the pack.

“States must find ways to motivate the parents of educationally vulnerable preschoolers to both enrol and attend, otherwise we risk a lost generation of children who start school too far behind their counterparts.

“This extension of the National Partnership gives us time to work through these issues and develop an enduring policy beyond 2019 that ensures children are not just enrolling, but attending and benefiting from preschool programs in readiness for school.”

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