. maintain universal access to quality educational programmes for all children in the year before full-time school for 600 hours per year, delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher meeting the requirements of the national quality framework, with a focus on the participation of vulnerable and disadvantaged children. This brief guide provides an overview of the national policy framework for providing universal access to early childhood education in Australia. Two national partnerships followed the implementation of the national obligation of universal access to ECEs for children in the year before full-time schooling. However, it is not possible, from these sources, to determine progress from all universal access targets. ABS-ECE data for all states and territories have only been published since 2012 and roGS data do not provide comparable data for all states and territories over the entire period of the JTS National Partnerships. The NPAUAECE review or other progress reports of the national partnership can provide information for meaningful comparisons. Australia`s LCE spending is not favourable compared to that of other countries. The latest data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that Australian government spending on pre-school education (for children aged three and over) accounted for 0.06% of gross domestic product in 2010, compared to an OECD average of 0.47%. Australia was the penultimate among the 30 OECD countries for which data were available. Information on the evaluation of the impact of the initiative on universal access to this data is not yet available. In addition to the Early Years strategy, the Australian Government has put in place a number of early childhood initiatives to support and train ece and childcare staff.
This includes a HECS-HELP service for ECE teachers working in high-demand fields. The development of a national commitment to universal access to ECEs for children in the year prior to the start of full-day education in 2006, when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) committed to improving early childhood development outcomes as part of a collaborative national approach. COAG has also agreed to help families improve childhood outcomes in the first five years of a child`s life. These commitments have led to the establishment of a number of national partnerships and other government initiatives that aim to improve the provision of CIT and childcare. In November 2008, COAG approved the National Partnership Agreement on Early Education for Children (NPAECE). NPAECE has committed the Australian government as well as state and territory governments to universal access to a CSE (nursery school) programme in the year leading up to school: under the NPAECE, the Australian government has released $970 million over five years for the implementation of the Universal Access Initiative. Of this funding, $950 million was allocated to state and territory governments, and the remainder for data development and analysis. These appropriations have been entered in the 2008/2009 budget.
The Australian government`s future for universal access to ECE is uncertain. A decision on future funding will likely depend on the outcome of the necessary NPAUAECE audit, which states that the results of the audit will be used to “enable a decision on the provision of services and the adequacy of funding in 2015 before the end of 2014”. It appears that the Deputy Minister of Education, Sussan Ley, has offered to advance the audit, but not all states have provided the necessary information to that effect. . . .