All states and territories have signed up to the Turnbull Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, unlocking $840 million in federal funding for quality preschool programmes across the country.

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the National Partnership guarantees funding for 600 hours of quality preschool and will help achieve performance benchmarks, particularly for Indigenous children and those from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Under this agreement all states and territories have agreed to support preschool programmes in all settings – whether that be the local state government-run preschool or a preschool within a long day care programme,” Minister Birmingham said.

“On top of the $840 million provided by the National Partnership, the Turnbull Government has also committed $40 billion for early childhood education and care over the next four years, including more than $3 billion extra to ensure the system is more accessible, affordable and fairer for families. 

“This is the single largest investment in early learning and child care that this country has ever seen and is underpinned by the National Partnership which guarantees Federal support for 15 hours of quality preschool education a week for children in the year before school.”

Northern Territory Minister for Education Peter Chandler said the $10.3 million for the top end outlined in the National Partnership, combined with an additional $1.4 million to be paid from the previous arrangement, would help give Territory children the best start in life.

“This funding is an important contribution to achieving universal access to education and care for preschoolers and guarantees each child with 600 hours of quality preschool programmes a year.

“The National Partnership recognises the importance of a quality preschool education and the long-term benefits it provides children in both transitioning to school and throughout school life.”

For more information on the National Partnership please visit: