WA latest state to sign on to National Preschool Reform Agreement

WA latest state to sign on to National Preschool Reform Agreement

by Freya Lucas

February 21, 2022

Western Australia is the latest state to partner with the Commonwealth Government by signing on to the Preschool Reform Agreement, confirming funding for more than 130,000 Western Australian children in the year before school over the next four years.

 

The Preschool Reform Agreement confirms up to $190 million of Commonwealth funding for preschool in Western Australia from 2022 to 2025, and will mean that every child in WA has the opportunity to attend at least 15 hours of preschool a week in the year before they start school.

 

“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,” said Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert.

 

As well as securing funding, the agreement will also place the focus on improving preschool participation rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, with only 52 per cent of Indigenous children enrolled in preschool making full use of the hours on offer in 2020.

 

‘We know access to high-quality early childhood education and care is critical to improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” the Minister continued. 

 

“This agreement will build upon the Government’s $122.6 million commitment to meet early childhood Closing the Gap targets.”

 

The Closing the Gap early childhood package includes the expansion of the Connected Beginnings program and Community Child Care Fund Restricted services in WA. These programs support increased access to early learning services and enhanced wrap-around education support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families.

 

WA Minister for Education and Training Sue Ellery said the Commonwealth’s contribution would provide funding certainty to parents, educators and the sector.

 

“This is an incredibly important multilateral partnership for our youngest students over the next four years,” Minister Ellery said.

 

“This agreement maintains Commonwealth funding to the sector and, importantly, will ensure all Western Australian children and their families are supported during these significant years.”

 

For more information about the Agreement, see here

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