ELAA reminds ECEC services to have their say on the future of Universal Access as deadline looms
The Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) has reminded early childhood education and care (ECEC) services around the country to have their say on the future of Universal Access – the provision which allows every Australian child to attend a quality early childhood education and care program in the year before school, educated by an early childhood teacher for at least 15 hours per week for 40 weeks a year in a preschool, kindergarten, school, or childcare centre, or other early learning setting.
The Review of the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) – formally known as the ‘National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education’ – is currently underway, and offers a critical opportunity for early years services and stakeholders to make their views known on the future of ‘15 hours’ and other important Commonwealth funding for the ECEC sector, ELAA said.
The independent review is being conducted by the Nous Group, who have been commissioned by state, territory and federal education ministers, with the findings to be reported in the first half of 2020.
Seeking to inform future governmental decision making in relation to the future of preschool education in Australia, the UANP Review will aim to generate ideas and discussion around maximising preschool participation, with a particular focus on First Nations children and those children residing in regional and remote areas, as well as children experiencing developmental vulnerability and disadvantage.
Nous Group is inviting submissions from parents and carers, preschool and school staff and leaders, representative and peak bodies, early childhood education experts, researchers and others.
ELAA CEO David Worland said “It’s vital that we don’t drop the ball on universal access to quality early learning as we know, from Australian and international research, that access to quality early learning between three and five can make a huge difference to social, cognitive and economic outcomes for children and the nation.”
In addition to submissions, the Nous Group has also created a survey, which can be completed on the UNAP Review website. The Smart Start have created a template for submissions, which may be accessed here.
Public submissions for the Nous intake close at 11:59pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), 6 October 2019.