ACT and QLD latest to sign up to Preschool Reform Agreement with $40m and $360m commitments
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Queensland governments have signed up to the Preschool Reform Agreement and secured $40 million and $360 million of Commonwealth funding respectively for children to participate in preschool in the year before school.
The funding commitments are to be spread over four years and is part of a broader redesign of the Universal Access National Partnership on Early Childhood Education that was announced at the Federal Budget in May 2021.
The ACT and Queensland join New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and the Northern Territory who have already confirmed participation.
Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert said the agreement will ensure ACT and Queensland children have access to high-quality preschool options and are better prepared for their first year of school.
“This agreement will mean every child in the ACT and Queensland has the opportunity to attend at least 15 hours of preschool a week in the year before they start school,” Minister Robert said.
“Importantly, this funding is linked to new reforms, including improving preschool participation and developing an outcomes measure, and will benefit all children, regardless of the type of preschool they attend.”
ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry and Queensland Minister for Education Grace Grace said the agreement would provide funding certainty to parents, educators and the sector.
“Well established research has shown that the early years of a child’s life, including preschool, set the foundation for every child’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development,” Minister Berry said.
“This agreement maintains Commonwealth funding for ACT Preschools and, importantly, will ensure all ACT children and their families are supported during these significant years.”
“We know how important affordable, high quality kindergarten is in giving our kids a great start in life,’ Minister Grace said.
“Queensland has been vocal in calling on the Australian Government to provide long-term funding certainty for the sector and we are delighted to see that four years of funding has now been locked in.”
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