Children who engage in a quality preschool program are generally better prepared to start primary school and progress through life. The Australian Government supports states and territories to ensure a nationally consistent quality preschool program is available for all children in the year before school.
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Funding for preschool
The Australian Government and all states and territories have agreed to a $2 billion, four-year Preschool Reform Agreement (PRA). The agreement locks in Australian Government funding for preschool to the end of 2025.
A key reform under the agreement is the development, trial and evaluation of a new Preschool Outcomes Measure.
Previous funding arrangements
Between 2008 and 2021, the Australian Government provided a funding contribution to the states and territories to support quality preschool programs through the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP).
The Nous Group independently reviewed the UANP in 2020. The findings showed an increase in awareness of the importance of children taking part in quality preschool.
What is a preschool program?
Preschool programs are play-based. They are delivered to children in the year before they start full-time school.
The agreement defines a preschool program as an educational program that is delivered by an early childhood teacher. They are delivered in accordance with the:
- Early Years Learning Framework V2 (or equivalent)
- National Quality Framework.