Goodstart hails new 2021 Budget commitments a “new era for preschool”
Goodstart Early Learning has responded positively to the Government’s commitment to offer long term pre-school funding to the States and Territories in the recent Budget announcement, describing it as a “new era for preschool” with long term funding tied to better outcomes for children.
The announcement pledged four years of funding for pre-school programs but with more emphasis on outcomes for children, Goodstart CEO Julia Davison said with both Federal and State funding contributing.
“From 2023, funding will have to follow the child whether their pre-school program is in a State school, a long day care centre or a preschool,” she added, describing the changes as “great news for the 80,000 children in pre-school programs around Australia who do not currently get the full benefit of Federal pre-school funding because the States do not pass it on in full.”
The Government’s Budget 2021/22 included a number of measures to support the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, with the standout commitment being a pledge to provide $1.6 billion over four years from 2021-22 to funding pre-school being delivered across States and Territories.
The first four years of funding will be delivered through a new funding agreement to be negotiated with the states and territories with the agreement supporting access to at least 15 hours of preschool each week (600 hours per year) for children in the year before school.
The Government has also signalled that additional funds have been allocated to develop new preschool outcome measures for trial and introduction in 2025 which will be embedded within a performance framework that will drive reform with a focus on attendance and school readiness.
“We look forward to working with the Government, other sector partners and early years experts to develop and trial a suitable child outcomes measure with the $33 million allocated to building a performance framework in the lead up to 2025.” Ms Davison said.
“A well designed performance framework will hopefully direct funding to raising the quality of preschool programs which will benefit all Australia’s children.”
To read Goodstarts’s full statement please click here.