The Abbott Government will commit $406 million to ensure Australian families can continue to access up to 15 hours of preschool per week in 2015.
The Commonwealth Government is offering Victoria an extension of the current national partnership arrangement* for preschool funding for a further 12 months after they expire in December 2014.
Many local families have come to me seeking clarity about the funding arrangement so I am delighted that the Australian Government has been able to extent this offer to Victoria.
The Abbott Government is committed to supporting high-quality early childhood education and care for Australian families and this $406 million for preschools is another example.
Extending the national partnership for 12 months is a common-sense approach, given the current Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Learning is not due to hand its report to the Government until late October this year.
The Government will also take into account findings from an independent review into the current national partnership on preschools, the Federation White Paper and the review of the National Quality Framework governing child care and early childhood learning quality standards and regulations.
The Government is improving access to preschool by ensuring the new national partnership arrangements make funding available to all types of accredited preschool programmes – regardless of whether they are delivered through schools, standalone preschools or long day care centres.
These new rules mean a fairer go for all preschools and families by ensuring funding is distributed equitably, which is particularly important in disadvantaged and regional areas.
*National Partnership Arrangement http://www.federalfinancialrelations.gov.au/content/npa/education/early_childhood/national_partnership.pdf
Media contact: Samantha Robin on 03 5979 3188 or 0427 787 166