National Partnership Agreements

The first National Partnership Agreement on Early Childhood Education was signed by the Council of Australian Governments on 29 November 2008. Under this agreement, all governments committed to work together to ensure that all children have access to a quality early childhood education program, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher for 15 hours per week or 600 hours of preschool education in the year before they attend full-time school.

Under a series of National Partnerships the Commonwealth has made available more than $2.8 billion to states and territories to progress this goal.

For more information on the National Partnerships, as well as state and territory implementation plans, please see the Council on Federal Financial Relations website.

Data Collection

The annual National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection is the primary data source for the measurement of achievement of benchmarks and monitoring of progress under the National Partnerships. The next data collection will be published in March 2017.

Review of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection

The Review of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection was undertaken in 2014. The purpose of the review was to gauge its relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.

Findings from the Review Report have informed the Department’s work to enhance the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection and to broaden the evidence base to support longer term early childhood education policy at jurisdictional and national levels.

Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education

The Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education was undertaken in 2014. The purpose of the review was “to assess the degree to which the agreed objectives and outcomes and/or outputs have been achieved, and to inform decisions regarding the appropriate treatment following its expiry".