Information on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education

An outline of the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring every child has access to a quality early childhood education program.

The National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education aims to ensure that every child has access to a quality early childhood education programme with a focus on participation by vulnerable and disadvantaged children. The programme is to be delivered by a degree-qualified early childhood teacher for 600 hours a year, in the year before full-time schooling (often referred to as ‘preschool’ or ‘kindergarten’).

On 19 April 2013, the Council of Australian Governments endorsed the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education. This Agreement aims to raise the quality of early childhood education delivered, regardless of setting, and improve access for vulnerable and disadvantaged children to early learning opportunities.

Who will put this into place?

State and territory governments are responsible for ensuring the provision of preschool education. Under the National Partnership, each state and territory government has an agreed strategy for maintaining the universal access goal. Each jurisdiction has different arrangements for regulating, funding and delivering early childhood education services. Therefore, each state and territory government is undertaking varying approaches to maintaining universal access to early childhood education.

Who do I contact for more information?

States and territories have responsibility for the provision of preschool or kindergarten in their jurisdiction. Please contact the relevant states or territory government department listed below for more information:

Who do I contact for more information?
Jurisdiction Department Name Website Phone

NSW

Department of Education and Communities

www.dec.nsw.gov.au

02 9561 8000

VIC

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

www.education.vic.gov.au

See regional office numbers on website

QLD

Department of Education, Training and Employment

www.deta.qld.gov.au

1800 54639

WA

Department of Education

www.det.wa.edu.au

08 9264 4111

SA

Department for Education and Child Development

www.decd.sa.gov.au

1800 088 158

TAS

Department of Education

www.education.tas.gov.au

1800 816 057

ACT

Education and Training Directorate

www.det.act.gov.au

02 6207 5111

NT

Department of Education and Children's Services

www.education.nt.gov.au

08 8999 5659

Improving the Quality of Data on Child Care and Early Learning

To improve the data quality on child care and early learning policy, the following two reports were produced in 2008 and 2009 for the then Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, which map out the landscape of child care and early learning statistics, with a focus on education. As a result, the reports helped with the development of the National Information Agreement on Early Childhood Education and Care (NIA ECEC), which the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs endorsed on 6 November 2009. This Agreement will facilitate and improve the collection, sharing and reporting of child care and early learning information. A copy of the NIA ECEC is available for viewing.