Every child in Barker who is about to start school will benefit from $1,340 as part of the Morrison Government’s $2 billion commitment to ensure every Australian child can attend preschool.

The Commonwealth is offering new four-year agreements to states and territories, including $114 million for South Australian school years 2022-2025.

  • The $1,340 per child will need to be passed on for every child, regardless of whether they attend ‘kinder’, ‘preschool’ or a preschool program at a centre-based day care.
  • From 2024, states and territories will need to set and meet attendance targets agreed to by all jurisdictions.
  • The Commonwealth will work with states and territories to develop and implement a preschool outcomes measure.

The funding would provide greater certainty for the preschool sector and benefit around 20,000 children attending preschool in South Australia next year.

The current Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) gives children access to 15 hours of preschool per week (600 hours per year), but only 72 per cent of children make full use of the available hours.

Attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (60 per cent) and disadvantaged children (66 per cent) are even lower.

The new agreements would be linked to reforms that lift preschool attendance and school readiness.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin, said it was the first time a federal government had committed to ongoing funding for preschool and the reforms would benefit all local children attending preschool.

“This is a significant reform that will mean children in Barker are better prepared for school, can get the most out of their early years of learning, and ultimately achieve more in the long-term,” Mr Pasin said.

“Regardless of where a child gets their preschool education, they will benefit from the Federal Government’s $1,340.” Mr Pasin said.

“These reforms will boost the quality and impact of preschool education in Australia.”

“I want local families in Barker to use the full 15 hours of quality preschool available each week to all children in the year before school,” Mr Pasin said.

“Children who fully engage in preschool and early education are generally better prepared to start school, and enjoy better educational outcomes.“

“The Australian Government’s partnership with South Australia has seen continuous improvements to preschool enrolments, but enrolments alone do not produce outcomes – participation does.” Mr Pasin said.

The funding brings the Morrison Government’s total investment in early childhood education and care to $3.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget, including $1.7 billion to improve affordability of child care for families with multiple children aged five and under.