South Australia is the first state to sign up to the Turnbull Government’s National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, unlocking federal funding for quality preschool programmes nationally.

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said South Australia’s decision to join the National Partnership gives certainty to local parents about their children’s access to preschool ahead of the 2016 school year. 

Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government’s $840 million commitment would mean every Australian four-year-old would have access to 15 hours of high quality care in the year before they start school.

“Access to quality early education in the year before formal schooling helps children successfully transition to the new school environment and contributes to longer term positive education outcomes,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This is why the Turnbull Government is committed to supporting universal access to early education programmes.

“State and territory Premiers were recently invited to join the National Partnership to share in $840 million guaranteed funding for 600 hours of quality preschool programmes for four year olds in the year before school. 

“South Australia’s decision to sign on makes an additional $55.4 million available to them for vital preschool programmes that will benefit parents and children throughout the state.”

Minister Birmingham said the National Partnership is an interim response to the Productivity Commission’s 2014 report, and guarantees funding to support universal access to 600 hours of quality preschool programmes a year in 2016 and 2017. 

“We are committed to working with all states and territories to determine the most effective long-term arrangements for early education and to increasing preschool participation across the country,” Minister Birmingham said.

Senator Birmingham’s media contact: James Murphy, 0478 333 974
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