The Australian Government has committed $870 million under Universal Access National Partnership arrangements to continue Commonwealth support for preschool throughout 2018 and 2019. This funding ensures that every child has access to a quality preschool education for 600 hours (15 hours a week) in the year before they start school.
This investment will benefit around 348 000 children across all preschool settings in 2019, bringing total Commonwealth investment in preschool to over $3.7 billion since 2008.
Importantly, it will provide funding certainty for preschools and Centre Based Day Care services as the government implements school and child care reforms this year.
Further information is available at the following links:
- Commitment to quality preschool education
- Information for preschool services
- Information for kindergarten services
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.
To progress this goal, the Australian Government will have provided over $3.7 billion in funding between 2008 – 2019 to support states and territories achieve universal access to quality preschool through these National Partnerships
Once executed, the National Partnership Agreements are available at the Council on Federal Financial Relations' website.
The following agreements are available for viewing:
- 2018-2019 National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
- 2018 National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
- 2016-2017 National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
- 2015 National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
- 2013-2014 National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
- 2009-2012 National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education
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 2019.
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.
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'.