Ed Council remains “strongly committed” to UANP but concerns about equity persist
Education Council, has signaled a strong ongoing commitment to the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) and the delivery of quality early childhood education (ECE) however some jurisdictions highlighted that there was still more to do with regards to equity of funding and access, in particular for more vulnerable and disadvantaged cohorts.
The Council, which is made up of State, Territory and Federal Education Ministers and is a forum through which strategic policy on education, including early childhood education, is coordinated at a national level, made these comments in response to the tabling of the final report into the UANP that was initially endorsed in June 2019 and conducted by consultancy the Nous Group.
Education Council noted among the reports key findings that the UANP had successfully delivered on its objectives and had made a substantial contribution to the provision of preschool across Australia, as well as having brought about a significant increase in preschool participation in less than 10 years.
That being said, some jurisdictions indicated that the report “did not adequately address questions of equity” in national preschool funding arrangements and that they considered there was more to do to develop equitable preschool funding systems and to encourage vulnerable and disadvantaged cohorts to engage in ECE.
Looking ahead the Education Council signaled that the report will inform future funding and policy arrangements from 2021, including universal access to quality ECEC.
No timeline for any new policy announcements was provided, although the Ministers did agree to release the final Nous report towards the end of July 2020 which will provide the sector generally an opportunity to read first hand the conclusions and recommendations contained within.
To read the Education Council statement please click here.