Senator the Hon Scott Ryan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education and Training, said the 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
“The Government’s $840 million commitment over two years for preschool funding is great news for Australian families,” Senator Ryan said.
The Government’s announcement to extend funding to the states and territories under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education means Australian families can continue to have access to a preschool programme for 600 hours of preschool education in the year before full-time school, until December 2017.
For the first time ever, the new funding will be indexed based on CPI, which translates into an additional $31 million over 2016 and 2017.
“This decision also addresses the Productivity Commission’s recommendation that the Government continues to provide preschool programme funding to state and territory governments, as well as to consider ongoing arrangements in the Federation White Paper.
Senator Ryan said the Government is also continually improving access to preschool, regardless of setting.
“Since 2008, both preschool enrolments and attendance in programmes for more than 15 hours a week has increased greatly, but there is still some way to go particularly in relation to attendance by Indigenous and vulnerable and disadvantaged children. This funding will be used to increase enrolment and attendance,” Senator Ryan said.