UA National Partnership Review Terms of Reference released.
The Sector > Policy > UA National Partnership Review Terms of Reference released as Submissions kick off

UA National Partnership Review Terms of Reference released as Submissions kick off

by Jason Roberts

September 09, 2019
OSHC early childhood jobs

The Department of Education has released the terms of reference of its review of the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education and confirmed that Nous Group, the management consultancy business conducting the review, is now inviting submissions from interested parties to share their views and experiences up to 6 October 2019. 


The Review was commissioned by State, Territory and Australian Government Education Ministers as an input into their consideration of future funding in this area and comes in the wake of calls from advocacy groups and the broader sector to commit more forcefully to a secure long term program of pre-school funding. 


Terms of reference details objectives and scope of review


The terms of reference, endorsed by the Education Council at their 28 June 2019 meeting, flags the key objectives of the review as an assessment of: 


  • the degree to which the agreed objectives, outcomes and outputs of the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education have been achieved since 2014, 
  • the broader benefits that have been achieved for the community and economy as a result of the National Partnership,
  • the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of current funding, measurement and performance arrangements
  • future arrangements to maintain and improve the benefits already achieved and the benefit of pursuing any new objectives, outcomes or outputs.


The scope of the review details the specific areas of investigation that will enable conclusions to be drawn and objectives met. 


There are five key areas of focus in the review:


  1. The extent to which the National Partnership policy objectives, outcomes and outputs have been achieved.
  2. The appropriateness of current performance indicators, benchmarks and targets and the methodologies and data used to measure them.
  3. The efficiency and effectiveness of current National Partnership funding arrangements.
  4. To provide an overview of how the preschool system currently operates across jurisdictions and settings, including contextual factors and how collective investment supports the delivery of quality early childhood education programs for children in the YBFS.
  5. Based on the consideration of the above issues and the Early Learning Reform Principles agreed by COAG in September 2018, make evidence-based findings to inform future policy settings for children in the YBFS.


The review is expected to be complete by the end of 2019 and provide input to the Commonwealth and State governments consideration of arrangements for preschool from 2021. 


For a detailed review of the original terms of reference please click here


Independent review to be conducted by Nous Group who are now inviting submissions


Nous Group, a management consultancy business, is responsible for conducting the independent review on behalf of the Australian States and Territories, and has now extended invitations to all stakeholders with views and / or experiences of the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP). 


This invitation is extended to parents and carers, preschool and school staff and leaders, representative and peak bodies, early childhood education experts and researchers and others who may have a view. 


Nous have drafted a discussion paper that provides background to the Review and sets out the key questions to which submissions are invited. These questions mirror the scope as detailed in the terms of reference. 


  1. To what extent have the UANP policy objectives, outcomes and outputs been achieved?
  2. What should the UANP target and measure, and how should data be collected and used?
  3. Are the current UANP arrangements efficient and effective and how could the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of UANP funding be improved?
  4. How does the preschool system operate across States and Territories and settings?
  5. Based on your experiences, should changes should be made to future national policy on preschool for children in the year before full-time school, and why? What improvements would these changes make? What works well with the current UANP arrangements?


The public submission period opens 6 September 2019 and closes at 11.59pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) 6 October 2019. They are not able to accept survey responses or public submissions after this period. 


In addition, two 45-minute webinars will be held to present the material included in this Discussion Paper and answer your questions about the Review process. Each webinar will present the same information. 


The webinars will be held at 2pm to 2.45pm, Friday 20 September 2019 (Australian Eastern Standard Time) and 12.30pm to 1.15pm, Wednesday 25 September 2019 (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

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