The Australian Government funds state and territory governments to provide quality preschool programs through the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP). States and territories are responsible for the provision of preschool or kindergarten in their jurisdiction.
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What is a national partnership?
A national partnership is an agreement between the Australian Government and state and territory governments.
What is the Universal Access National Partnership?
The UANP aims to ensure every child can participate in a quality preschool program 15 hours per week (or 600 hours per year) in the year before school.
The preschool program should be:
- delivered in accordance with the National Quality Framework (NQF) and the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)
- in a form that meets the needs of children, parents and the community, and
UANP funding benefits about 350,000 children each year and supports about 12,000 preschool services nationally.
What funding is available?
The Australian Government committed $452.3 million to extend the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education until the end of 2021.
This extension, along with the funding already committed for 2020, provided continuity for the preschool sector as Australia dealt with the impacts of COVID-19.
A new $2 billion, four-year national reform commitment will be established to strengthen the delivery of preschool and better prepare children to start school, through to the end of the 2025 calendar year.Learn more about the Preschool Reform Funding Agreement
Why is preschool important?
Quality preschool prepares children for school and gives them the best possible start in life.
Children who attend preschool:
- are less likely to be developmentally vulnerable across all five developmental domains when they start school, and
- enjoy better educational outcomes at school.
The Council of Australian Governments signed the first UANP agreement in 2008.