The Morrison Government will fund almost 350,000 children in Australia to access 15 hours of quality early learning a week in the year before school.
Federal Government funding for 2020 is now guaranteed with every state and territory government finally signing up to the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education (UANP).
The Federal Government’s UANP offer has been on the table since July 2019. Preschool is the responsibility of state and territory governments, with Commonwealth funding through the UANP a contribution to increase participation rates and ensure national consistency in the number of hours available. Under UANP, the Commonwealth will provide $1,292 per child in 2020, up from $1,263 per child in 2019.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government had funded the National Partnership since 2014, representing a total investment of $2.8 billion.
The interim review of the UANP has found:
The UANP has continued to make a significant contribution to improving participation in affordable, quality, early childhood education programs for children.
“We are working to ensure that children from disadvantaged, Indigenous and rural and remote communities get an equal opportunity to benefit from early education,” Mr Tehan said.
“Last year, 66 per cent of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and 59 per cent of Indigenous children attended the full 600 hours of preschool available to them, compared to 72 per cent of all children.
“Our Government is funding a Preschool Attendance Strategies Project to develop policies that will increase preschool attendance.”