National Partnership Agreements

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As part of the 2017-18 Budget, the Australian Government is committing a further $428 million to continue Commonwealth support for preschool throughout 2018. This funding will be provided through a one-year extension to National Partnership arrangements.

This will benefit around 346 000 children across all preschool settings, and brings the total Commonwealth investment in preschool to $3.2 billion since 2008.

This decision provides much needed certainty for the sector and families who need to make decisions about work and family arrangements ahead of the 2018 school year.

Further information is available at the following links:

History of National Partnership Arrangements

The first National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education (National Partnership) was signed by the Council of Australian Governments on 29 November 2008. Under this agreement, all governments committed to work together to ensure that all children have access to a quality early childhood education program, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher for 15 hours per week in the year before they attend full-time school.

Since 2008, the Commonwealth has made $3.2 billion available to states and territories through a series of National Partnership arrangements, to progress this goal.

Once executed, the National Partnership Agreements are available at the Council on Federal Financial Relations' website.

The following agreements are available for viewing:

Data Collection

The annual National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection is the primary data source for the measurement of achievement of benchmarks and monitoring of progress under the National Partnerships. It is published annually. The next data collection will be published in March 2018.

National Reports

National Reports summarise national and State achievement against the performance benchmarks of the National Partnership Agreements on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education. The reports are compiled by the Commonwealth government.

The national reports highlight steady improvements in preschool participation rates since the introduction of National Partnership arrangements in 2008.

National Report – National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education 2013-2014

National Report - National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education 2015

Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education

The Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education was undertaken in 2014. The purpose of the review was 'to assess the degree to which the agreed objectives and outcomes and/or outputs have been achieved, and to inform decisions regarding the appropriate treatment following its expiry'.

A copy of the review can be found on the Education Council Website.