MORE PLEASE: Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp, with Tracy King, Port Stephens MP Kate Washington, and Samuel, at Cooks Hill Preschool. Picture: SuppliedONE in two community-based child care centres say their future looks somewhat toveryinsecure, while one in four say they are struggling to meet their community’s needs.

The results from a funding survey conducted by the NSWCommunity Child Care Cooperative are concerning, advocates say.They are pushing for more financial support from all levels of governmentin the lead up to the federal election on July 2, and ahead of the NSW state budget on June 21.

NSW Opposition spokeswoman for Early Childhood Education and Port Stephens MP, Kate Washington, visited Cooks Hill Preschool on Friday with Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorpto discuss the impact of the upcoming budget on preschools across the Hunter.

Cooks Hill is one of many preschools that participated in the ‘Bigger Slice for Early Education campaign’ during the NSW election, calling on the NSW State Government to increase investment in early education, she said.

“Families want to see the Baird government take early education seriously, by allocating adequate funding for the sector in the upcoming budget, and – importantly – spending it,” Ms Washington said, referring to an underspend of previously allocated funding.“Due to the Baird government’s lack of investment in our kids, there are too many children in NSW missing out on preschool.”

NSWinvests less in early childhood education that any other state, $202 per child, compared to $357 in Victoria, $598 in Tasmaniaand $644 in South Australia.As a result, NSW parents pay the highest preschool fees in the country.