The Commonwealth and Queensland governments have signed a preschool funding agreement that will benefit more than 250,000 Queensland children in the year before school over the next four years.
The Preschool Reform Agreement confirms up to $360 million of Commonwealth funding for preschool in Queensland from 2022 to 2025.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert said the agreement will ensure Queensland children have access to high-quality preschool options and are better prepared for their first year of school.
‘This agreement will mean every child in Queensland has the opportunity to attend at least 15 hours of preschool a week in the year before they start school,’ Minister Robert said.
‘Importantly, this funding is linked to new reforms, including improving preschool participation and developing an outcomes measure, and will benefit all children, regardless of the type of preschool they attend.’
Queensland Minister for Education Grace Grace said the Commonwealth’s contribution would provide funding certainty to parents, educators and the sector.
‘We know how important affordable, high quality kindergarten is in giving our kids a great start in life,’ Minister Grace said.
‘Queensland has been vocal in calling on the Australian Government to provide long-term funding certainty for the sector and we are delighted to see that four years of funding has now been locked in.
‘This will help support the great work already happening in Queensland to ensure that every child benefits from kindergarten, through initiatives such as our $40m Kindy Uplift program, and our highly successful remote kindergartens in schools.
‘This agreement maintains Commonwealth funding to the sector and, importantly, will ensure all Queensland children and their families are supported during these significant years.’
This four-year agreement provides long term certainty to more than 300,000 Australian children and their families each year, along with the early childhood education sector.
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory signed the Preschool Reform Agreement this month.
The Commonwealth is continuing to work with the remaining states and territories to ensure they can have an agreement in place, and funding certainty, ahead of the 2022 preschool year.
The Commonwealth’s historic investment in early childhood education also includes around $10 billion a year through the child care system to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families using child care and to improve workforce participation.