Preschool education in Australia
Online only 9 May 2008Marilyn Harrington
Social Policy Section
Following on from its election commitment to ensure preschool access for four-year-old children, the Australian Government is proceeding with its plans to provide access to ‘universal’ preschool education.
This commitment is supported by an overwhelming body of evidence attesting to the efficacy of early childhood education for school and later life outcomes, as well as a growing economic argument for greater investment on the basis of productivity gains. Further, Australia’s expenditure on early childhood education has compared poorly with other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries – in 2004 Australia’s expenditure on pre-primary education amounted to 0.1 per cent of GDP, compared to the OECD average of 0.5 per cent of GDP.
For various reasons not all Australian four-year-olds attend preschool or are accounted for in the available preschool attendance data. In 2006–07, 248,172 children attended state and territory government funded and/or provided preschool services in Australia. There is also considerable variation in the provision of these services–creating some confusion about the state of the preschool education sector (including what constitutes preschool education)–variability in program structure and inequities in access and participation.
The purpose of this Background Note is to present some of the key research in the area of early childhood intervention and education that has informed Australian policy making. It also provides an overview of current preschool education provision in Australia and recent policy developments.
The value of early childhood education programs, particularly for children who are disadvantaged, is well-substantiated as the result of considerable research that continues to accumulate. Short-term benefits include improved cognitive functioning and social skills and, thereby, improved school readiness. Longitudinal studies have demonstrated positive effects on school completion, further education participation, employment outcomes, earnings and general social well-being. The importance of early childhood education has also been underlined by developments in the science of early brain development which suggests the earlier the intervention the better.
Economists, too, are arguing for greater investment in early childhood on the basis of productivity gains. Key amongst these proponents is Dr James Heckman, a Noble Laureate in Economics, who came to the study of the efficacy of early childhood programs by way of a study on the economic return from job retraining programs for steel workers. He concluded that job retraining programs were ineffective because it was more difficult to learn new skills at a later age and there were fewer years to recoup the cost of retraining. From the findings of his later research, Heckman argues that the investment in early childhood intervention programs produces far greater gains at the same cost.
As Australian academic and Founding Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Don Edgar, has remarked:
Many of the studies and programs that form part of this research deal broadly with early childhood, encompassing a range of strategies that target children and their families from birth, providing not only early education but also health and nutrition services for families in combination with parent training and support. Such programs include:
Australia is also producing its own programs; for example, the NSW Government’s Brighter Futures early intervention program and the Triple P Positive Parenting Program, which was developed at the University of Queensland and has been adopted overseas.
In addition to these early childhood intervention studies and programs, there are two well-cited longitudinal studies that specifically investigate the effects of preschool education programs on later educational and other life outcomes. These are the High/Scope Perry Preschool Study (USA) and, more recently, the Effective Provision of Preschool Education (EPPE) Project (UK). The results of these studies have significant messages for Australian policy makers.
High/Scope Perry Preschool Study
The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study is well-cited longitudinal research that has followed into adulthood the lives of 123 children from African American families to assess whether high-quality preschool programs provided short- and long-term benefits to children living in poverty and at risk of failing in school. The children were divided into a program group which received a high-quality preschool program; and a no preschool program group. Researchers assessed the status of the two groups annually from ages 3 to 11, at ages 14–15, at 19 and 27 and, most recently, at age 40.
Over the years the program group has scored significantly higher than the no-program group in:
The findings of the most recent analysis at age 40 continued the trend of the previous findings. Compared to the no-program group, the program group members had significantly:
A cost-benefit analysis was also applied to the results, producing an estimate that, in constant year 2000 US dollars discounted at 3 per cent, the economic return to society of the Perry Preschool program was $US17.07 per dollar invested. Of that return $US12.90 went to the general public and $US4.17 to each participant. Most of the public return came from crime savings (88 per cent) and the remainder from education savings (4 per cent), increased taxes due to higher earnings (7 per cent) and welfare savings (1 per cent).
Heralded as the first major European longitudinal study, the Effective Provision of Preschool Education (EPPE) Project is investigating the effects of preschool education and care on children’s development between the ages of 3 and 14. Information is being collected on over 3000 children, their parents, home environments and the preschool settings they attended. A sample of ‘home’ children who had no or minimal preschool experience was recruited to the study at entry to school for comparison with the preschool group.
Key findings over the preschool period included:
Key findings at age 7 included:
There is an absence of similar longitudinal studies in Australia where research has mostly focussed on pilot projects. It is therefore these overseas longitudinal studies that have been instrumental in influencing public policy development in Australia. However, while there is agreement about the efficacy of early childhood intervention and education programs, Australian reviews of the research have highlighted the importance of interventions that are cost-effective and appropriate for Australian communities.
The Report on Government Services 2008 describes preschool education as comprising:
services usually provided by a qualified teacher on a sessional basis in dedicated preschools. Preschool programs or curricula may also be provided in long day care centres and other settings. These services are primarily aimed at children in the year before they commence full time schooling …
There is an enormous range of arrangements for preschool education across the country and variation in the level of service and access. However, in recognition of the importance of early childhood education, preschool education is now undergoing significant restructure. The Australian Government is becoming more involved and the states and territories are also reforming preschool education. Following is an overview of current preschool education provision in Australia and detailed state and territory information is provided in the Appendix to this Background Note.
Since 1986 preschool education has been the sole responsibility of the states and territories with the exception of Indigenous preschool services for which the Australian Government provides supplementary funding.
Preschool services are offered by government, community and private providers. They may be stand-alone services, attached to schools or provided in child care centres. Regulation of preschool education is principally the responsibility of education departments (except in NSW):
Age eligibility is principally geared towards children, aged about four years, in the year prior to school commencement. Three-year-old children are eligible in some jurisdictions. There are also early access programs for Indigenous children and other children with special needs, including those with disabilities, gifted and talented children and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Preschool services are usually provided on a sessional basis, with average hours of attendance in most states and territories between 11 and 12 hours per week for four-year-olds. In NSW average attendance for children attending preschools attached to schools is about 17 hours per week.
Table 1. Summary of preschool education programs for 4-year-olds, two years prior to Year 1(a)
na – Not available.
The usual pattern of staffing is a qualified teacher supported by a teacher’s assistant. All systems require qualified teachers in preschools, but only Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, the ACT and NSW (Department of Education and Training preschools only) require teachers with early childhood education qualifications. In NSW, for preschools and child care centres regulated by the Department of Community Services, qualified teachers are mandated for centres with more than 30 children.
In Tasmania, Western Australia, South Australia, the ACT, the Northern Territory and NSW (Department of Education & Training preschools only), government provided preschool education is free with the option of a voluntary levy. The reported average fees for community preschools in NSW are about $25 per day; in Queensland daily fees range from $13 to $20; and in Victoria the average fees are about $140 per term. However, fee relief for eligible families is provided in these states. It should also be noted that parents of children who participate in preschool programs through their attendance at child care centres are eligible for Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Tax Rebate.
In most systems parent committees contribute to the management of preschools and fundraise to provide additional resources.
In all jurisdictions there are fully privately funded preschools (including preschools attached to non-government schools) and children may also access a form of preschool education program in long day care centres. It is difficult to determine how the latter compare to preschool education services as defined in the Report on Government Services.
A number of problems, many of which were highlighted by a 2004 inquiry into preschool education, confront the sector and remain a challenge. These include issues of access (for example, geographic location and transport); affordability; the supply of qualified early childhood teachers; state and territory differences in administration, funding and curricula; and the provision of preschool services for children with special needs, particularly children with disabilities and Indigenous children. Children of working parents have also been described as ‘trapped’ in long-day child care. The latter is not only symptomatic of the problem of program quality in childcare settings, but also the logistical difficulties for working parents of combining preschool with child care.
There are a number of sources for data on preschool education, including the Report on Government Services 2008 (RoGS) – Children’s Services chapter; the National Preschool Census (latest issue 2006; 2007 soon to be released); Australian Bureau of Statistics, Child Care Australia (latest issue June 2005); the 2006 Census of Population and Housing (the Census); and the Commonwealth Grants Commission.
Each source has a different rationale and methodology for collecting data and, consequently there is some variation in the data provided. For instance, RoGS calculates the number of children in preschool at 248 172 children in 2006–07; the National Preschool Census estimates total enrolments of 212 998 in 2006; and the 2006 Census, in which parents self-identify their children’s education, places the number of children in preschool at 307 284 in 2006.
The following statistical information is mostly extracted from RoGS. There are some limitations with this data. The statistics cover government provided or funded preschool services. Therefore, children who attend private preschools and, generally, children who receive preschool services in child care settings (unless they are stand-alone preschools) are not included.
Further, the state and territory data is not always comparable because of the differences in preschool service provision and the lack or inconsistency of data. The RoGS tables include numerous notes explaining the basis of the data that has been provided by the jurisdictions and contain frequent caveats. Some of these notes are provided in the tables that follow.
It should also be noted that the full impact of the recent changes in preschool provision in Queensland is also not yet reflected in the RoGS figures (see the summary of preschool provision in Queensland). The apparently significantly smaller number of children in NSW does not take into account children attending preschool in other settings, particularly private preschools.
From the figures in Table 2, 12.8 percent or 32 358 children of the estimated population of four-year-olds are not accounted for in preschool enrolment figures for 2006–07. Some of these children may be attending private preschools or participating in other preschool programs, such as in long day care centres, which are not included in the data collections. The reasons for children’s non-participation in preschool may be the result of access and equity problems (such as geographic location or cost) or, as preschool is not compulsory, the result of parental choice.
Table 2. Children using state and territory government funded and/or provided preschool services, 2006–07(a)
na – Not available.
Source: ‘Children’s services – attachment’, Report on Government Services 2008, Table 3A.11
Participation by target groups in state and territory government funded
na – Not available.
The average attendance of children at state and territory government funded and/or provided preschool services in the year immediately before they commenced full-time schooling ranged from about 11 to 14 hours per week.
Table 4. Average attendance at government funded or provided preschools in the year prior to school commencement, 2006–07 (hours per week)
na – Not available.
Preschool education was mainly government provided in all states and territories, except NSW and Victoria where preschool education was mainly operated by community providers.
Table 5. Licensed and/or registered preschool providers by management type, 2006–07
na - Not available.
The National Preschool Census 2006 shows that about three-quarters of all preschool enrolments are in the non-government sector (community and private providers).
According to RoGS, there were 12,077 Indigenous students enrolled in
In 2006–07, total government expenditure on preschool education was $0.5 billion ($2179 per student), with state and territory governments providing 99.34 per cent of this amount.
Expenditure per student varies considerably between the states. As the Commonwealth Grants Commission has noted, the numbers of students and the costs and number of resources provided to each student are only two factors affecting expenditure. The number of students with special needs – Indigenous, LBOTE, students with disabilities, remote and students from families of low socio-economic status – cost more to educate. Policy decisions –such as hours of attendance, number of places for younger children, fees, and proportion and uptake of private preschool services – also affect costs.
Table 6. State and territory government expenditure on preschool services, 2006–07 ($'000)
Sources: ‘Children’s services – attachment’, Report on Government Services 2008, Table 3A.5; ‘Preschool education’ in Commonwealth Grants Commission, Report on State Revenue Sharing Relativities: 2008 Update: Working Papers, vol. 3, p. 3.
Australian Government funding for preschool education has been limited to providing supplementary assistance for preschool education and is estimated at $13.8 million for 2008. Most of this funding is provided in the form of Supplementary Recurrent Assistance (SRA). To receive SRA a preschool must have five or more Indigenous students, be licensed or registered as a preschool and conduct an accredited preschool program. Preschool education providers which meet all the eligibility criteria for SRA except enrolments may form Clusters to meet the SRA eligibility enrolment requirement. There are four preschool funding categories based on geographic location, with non-government Indigenous preschool students funded at a significantly higher rate than government students.
Table 7. Supplementary Recurrent Assistance rates for Indigenous preschool students, 2008 ($)
Source: As advised by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.
The remainder of the funding comprises funding for Indigenous Support Units, the Parent School Partnerships Initiative, Building an Indigenous Workforce in Government Service Delivery and project funding.
The level of Australia’s expenditure on preschool education, both in terms of total expenditure (public and private) and total public expenditure, has not compared well to that of other countries. According to the OECD, in 2004:
Since its election the ALP Government has started the implementation of its election commitment to provide access to quality ‘universal’ preschool for four-year-olds, as part of its overall plan for early childhood education and child care. Accordingly, the government has established a Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education and Child Care (Maxine McKew) and the Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care.
The Government has promised:
To meet this commitment the Australian Government has announced:
Ahead of the Australia 2020 Summit, the Prime Minister announced his proposal to combine maternal and child health and welfare, child care services and preschool at the one location. This proposal was subsequently endorsed by the Summit.
The proposal was also endorsed by state and territory governments at the April 2008 joint meeting of the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) and the Ministerial Council for Vocational and Technical Education (MCVTE). 
State and territory governments are also restructuring preschool education as a consequence of commitments given at Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG) meetings. In 2006 COAG undertook early childhood as a priority; specifically, to support families to improve childhood development outcomes in the first five years of a child’s life. In 2007 COAG resolved to develop ‘an intergovernmental agreement on a national approach to quality assurance and regulations for early childhood education and care.’
The commitment to quality universal preschool education is now an entrenched agenda for all governments. As the recent joint MCEETYA/MCVTE meeting declared:
There may, however, be some challenge in coordinating these efforts and producing an accessible, cost-effective option for all families.
The following information is compiled from a number of sources, including government reports and procedural guidelines, department websites and oral advice from various agencies.
Preschool education is the responsibility of the Department of Education and Training (DET). From 2008 preschools are amalgamated with primary schools and may be either on- or off-site – some primary schools may have responsibility for more than one preschool. DET funds preschool employee costs, maintenance of buildings and grounds and provides funding for cleaning and consumables.
Preschool is principally offered to children aged four years who attend for 12 hours each week. Children with special needs may be placed in a targeted preschool program from three years of age. Indigenous children, hearing impaired children, children for whom English is a second language and gifted and talented children, are also eligible for early entry.
Indigenous (Koori) preschool sessions operate at five locations. Indigenous children aged 0–5 are eligible to enrol. Parents are encouraged to participate in the programs and are required to attend with children aged less than three years. Programs operate for eight hours per week. Eligible children can attend a Koori preschool in addition to a mainstream preschool.
Teachers must have early childhood education qualifications.
Parent committees set voluntary levies.
The Department of Community Services (DoCS) has responsibility for most NSW preschools (about 800), which take children aged 3 to 5 years. DoCS estimates that around 85 per cent of children in NSW experience a preschool program through the range of children’ services that are offered, including schools and long day care centres.
DoCS funded preschool services receive funding for operational costs and fee relief. In 2005‑06:
In May 2006 the NSW Premier announced the Preschool Investment and Reform Plan, providing $77.2 million over four years to strengthen the community-based preschool sector in NSW, the purpose of which is to ‘improve preschool access in NSW by making it more affordable and making it easier for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to participate in a preschool program …’ The Plan has involved:
All staff in DoCS funded preschools must be trained in early childhood but qualified teachers with early childhood qualifications are only mandated for centres with 30 or more children. However, according to advice from DoCS, many centres with less than 30 children do have qualified teachers.
The preschools are usally run by a parent committee or sponsored by a church, community organisation or local government.
The Department of Education and Training (DET) has preschools attached to 100 primary schools. These preschools are mostly located in low socioeconomic status (SES) areas with priority given to disadvantaged children from low SES backgrounds, ATSI children, children with disabilities and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds – i.e. for children of families who may not be able to afford to pay for preschools administered through DoCS.
Twenty four DET preschools are in communities with high Indigenous populations. Children in geographically isolated areas may be eligible for a preschool program through the Dubbo School of Distance Education. Four preschools are for children with hearing disabilities. There are also 50 early intervention programs in 46 schools for children 3 to 5 years with special needs.
DET preschools are run by the school, school council or by parent committees. The majority of children in DET preschools are aged four years and attend part-time. The attendance patterns vary – some offer half day sessions; others offer full day sessions for two, three or five days per week – with an average attendance of about 17 hours per week..
DET employs an early childhood trained teacher and a teacher’s aide in each preschool class. All teaching staff are fully qualified teachers and all new appointees are also required to have early childhood education qualifications.
Some schools charge a voluntary levy.
For further information see DET, Enrolment of Students in NSW Government Preschools Classes Procedures.
From July 2008 DoCS will begin to implement the requirement that school-based preschools (government and non-government) will need to be licensed by DoCS. For further information see the DoCS website, Licensing School-based Preschools or Children’s Services.
The Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) has responsibility for preschools which are integrated with primary schools. There are also mobile preschool services in remote areas – additional mobile preschools have been provided as the result of the Commonwealth Government’s NT Emergency Response which provided $16.0 million in administered expenses for extra teacher workforce capacity and classrooms. The NT Government is spending $9.5 million over the next five years to provide six new mobile preschools in remote areas and 21 teachers and assistants.
Children may enrol in preschool at the beginning of the year if they turn four on or by 30 June.
All preschool teachers must be qualified teachers and, while early childhood qualifications are desirable, they are not mandatory – advice from DEET is that there are not sufficient teachers with these qualifications.
Some preschools are managed by parent committees; others opt to have representation through the primary school council. Voluntary contributions are levied.
A significant problem in the Northern Territory is that schools are required to have 12 enrolments in preschool in order to have a formal (staffed) preschool program. It has been estimated that 94 per cent of remote communities do not have a preschool.
The previous system of preschool education in Queensland, whereby preschools were part of primary schools, was replaced with the universal introduction of a Prep Year in Queensland schools in 2007. The Prep Year represents an extension of the number of years of formal schooling and is fully integrated into the rest of the school. It is similar to the systems in existence in other states and territories – i.e. it is a non-compulsory, full-time program which children attend from Monday to Friday during normal school hours. Prep Year caters for children aged 4½ to 5½ – children must be 5 by 30 June in the year they start Prep. It is available in all Queensland state schools and most non-state schools offering a primary program.
The Creche and Kindergarten Association of Queensland (C & K) is funded to provide pre-Prep programs, known as Kindergarten, for 3½ to 4½ year olds in the year before they commence Prep. Younger children may be accepted, depending on vacancies. C&K has a three-year funding agreement with the Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA), which provides about 80 per cent of teacher’s salaries to C&K affiliated community kindergartens. Kindergartens which are approved by C&K and have plans for affiliation receive a fixed rate subsidy based on the number of teacher/child contact hours (a maximum of $16 600 per annum). Capital assistance is also provided to kindergartens. The remainder of the costs are met by fees and fundraising. Fees vary from $13 to $20 daily. Some kindergarten fees may be more expensive if enrolments are small.
C&K oversights all the kindergarten programs, whether they are run by C&K branches or affiliated bodies. All these services employ qualified teachers with early childhood qualifications. Some of these services have an extended model, offering child care services after kindergarten to cover the remaining school hours or offering ‘after school’ hours as well.
C&K also has a kindergarten curriculum which is currently being accredited by the Queensland Studies Authority, in part to ensure that kindergarten teachers continue to meet their teacher registration requirements.
Affiliated kindergartens are run by parent committees which are separately incorporated management committees. C&K Branch kindergartens have parent advisory groups.
The Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) is responsible for providing preschool education programs in a range of government funded centres including kindergartens, child-parent centres, integrated centres and Early Childhood Development Centres.
In government funded preschool programs:
There are also approved early and extended enrolments for other children with additional needs such as a disability, developmental delay, gifted development, culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds or other disadvantaged family and social circumstances.
DECS regulates preschools, provides the staff (a qualified early childhood teacher plus an early childhood worker or school support officer) and funds operational costs. Parent committees participate in the management of preschools, contribute to policy development and fundraise.
Voluntary levies are set by the preschool’s management committee.
The South Australian Government is currently reviewing its education legislation to, in part, better integrate early childhood services, including preschool.
Preschools, termed kindergarten, are regulated by the Department of Education. Preschool programs are offered to children who must be four years of age on or by 1 January in the year in which they start. Exceptions may be made for gifted children (they must be at least three years and six months of age as of 1 January in the year they start) and children previously enrolled in a government school in another state. Kindergarten is provided for 11 hours per week and may be offered as half day or full day sessions. Kindergartens are integrated with a primary school and are usually located on the same campus. Kindergarten programs are integrated with primary school programs – the kindergarten curriculum is part of the Tasmanian school curriculum. No fees are charged but voluntary contributions may be levied.
As kindergartens are part of the school system, all teachers are qualified and registered as teachers. Most kindergarten teachers will have early childhood qualifications but it is not mandatory. There are instances of teachers with general primary training teaching in the early years.
In August 2007 responsibility for Victorian preschools, known as kindergartens, moved from the then Department of Human Services to the newly-created Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Kindergartens provide a one-year program for children aged four years in the year prior to school entry (they must be four by 30 April). Service providers must offer each child a minimum of 10 hours of funded kindergarten per week.
Younger children may be eligible for early age entry upon application. There are Inclusion Support Services for children with severe disabilities to assist their participation in their local kindergarten programs. Indigenous children of kindergarten age are assisted through the Koorie Early Childhood Education Program which provides Koorie early childhood field officers and Koori preschool assistants. The 2007–08 state budget also provided funding for the staged introduction of free kindergarten for three-year-old Indigenous children who are, or whose parents are, concession card holders.
The state government funds kindergarten programs, which are provided by a range of organisations, including local government, community organisations, child care providers and schools. They operate in a variety of settings, including long day care centres, community kindergartens, community centres and schools (government and non-government). For state funded kindergartens, the Kindergarten Certificate identifies that the kindergarten service provides a qualified early childhood teacher and that the licensed premises comply with the Children’s Service Act and meets the Children’s Services Regulations.
The state government provides indexed per capita grants which vary with the service setting and location. The government also provides funding for the management and coordination of kindergarten clusters. The cluster manager is responsible for the overall management of the services operating within the cluster, including the management and employment of staff, licensing requirements and financial management. From July 2007 the cluster management grant is $7000 per location.
Kindergarten organisations are also eligible to apply for an additional annual payment if they employ an early childhood teacher classified at a certain level, with seven years experience or who is classified as ‘exemplary’. The payments vary according to the kindergarten setting and range from $225 to $409. A travel allowance is also provided to assist rural services to attract qualified early childhood teachers.
Most kindergarten services charge fees in addition to the government’s contribution. According to the Australian Education Union Victorian Branch, in 2006 the average fee per term for four-year-old groups was $172.94 – fees ranged from $50 (10 hour group) to $598 per term (20 hour group). A kindergarten fee subsidy is available for eligible families. From 1 July 2007 the fee subsidy rate is $730 per year (or $182.50 per term).
Kindergarten staff who plan and deliver kindergarten programs must hold an approved early childhood teaching qualification. If an appropriately qualified early childhood teacher cannot be found, an organisation must seek Ministerial approval to receive funding on condition that a primary trained teacher is employed. For appointments longer than 12 weeks, the primary teacher must enrol in a course that achieves an approved early childhood qualification.
The Victorian Government also has incentive schemes for kindergarten teachers:
Scholarship recipients will receive payments of up to $6,000 over two years to cover their HECS fees. They will also have access to literacy support during the period that they are studying. In addition their employers may be eligible to receive reimbursement for part of the cost of releasing staff to undertake further study.
Incentive Package recipients will receive payments of up to $12,000 over two years to cover their HECS fees. In addition their employers may be eligible to receive reimbursement of the cost of releasing staff to participate in the Professional Mentoring Program.
Most recently, in February 2008 the Victorian Government announced new proposals for the reform of early childhood education which include the provision of multiple services at a single site; improving the integration of 0–8 learning; better coordinated early intervention support for children with disabilities and Indigenous children; and improving the percentage of qualified staff.
Western Australia has a universal preschool program for four year olds (they must be four by 30 June), known as kindergarten, with most integrated with the pre-primary year on school sites. The kindergarten program is 11 hours per week and may be offered as four half days, two full days or a combination of half and full days per week. There are also Aboriginal kindergartens which provide programs for three and four-year-olds – in 2006–07 there were 28 locations under the direct management of local primary schools.
There are also community kindergartens (in 2006 there were 1180 children enrolled in 37 community kindergartens). The Department of Education and Training provides these kindergartens with operational funding and a teacher and education assistant. Their programs are overseen by a linked primary school. Parent management committees are responsible for financial management and daily operations.
Kindergarten teachers are required to have early childhood teaching qualifications.
There are no fees for attending kindergarten but voluntary levies may be charged.
. K. Rudd and others, Labor’s Plan for Early Childhood: Election 2007 Policy Document, Australian Labor Party, Canberra, 2007.
. See, for example, J. F. Mustard, ‘Experience-based brain development: scientific underpinnings of the importance of early child development in a global world, in M. E. Young (ed.), Early Child Development From Measurement to Action: A Priority for Growth and Action, World Bank, Washington, D.C., 2007, pp. 27–33.
. See, for example, Heckman,
. D. Edgar, The Patchwork Nation: Re-thinking Government – Re-building Community, HarperCollins, Pymble, NSW, 2001, p. 174.
. L. J. Schweinhart, The
High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40:
. K. Sylva and others, The
Effective Provision of Preschool Education (EPPE) Project:
. See S. Wise and others,
Efficacy of Early Childhood Interventions:
. Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision, op. cit., p.3.3.
. As advised by Early Childhood and Interagency Programs, NSW Department of Education and Training.
. K. Walker, National Preschool Education
. RoGS, op. cit., Table 3A.11.
. Current Queensland figures will be affected by the changes in preschool provision in 2007. The RoGS figure for NSW runs counter to verbal advice from the NSW Department of Community Services which estimates that 85 per cent of four-year-olds are receiving preschool education services – this figure takes into account privately funded preschool services in NSW.
. National Preschool Census 2006: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and All Students: Summary Report, p. 8.
. Steering Committee for the
Review of Government Service Provision,
. National Preschool Census
2006, op. cit., p. 10. For further information, see also M. Kronemann,
. ‘Preschool education’ in Commonwealth Grants Commission, Report on State Revenue Sharing Relativities: 2008 Update: Working Papers, vol. 3, p. 1. This figure includes the government component of Australian Government payments under its Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives; but excludes the non-government component, which constitutes the majority of Australian Government assistance for Indigenous preschools.
. As advised by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
. Department of Education, Employment
and Workplace Relations (DEEWR),
. OECD, op. cit., Tables B3.2a and B2.2.
. Office of Early Childhood Education, Universal Access to Early Childhood Education website.
. MCEETYA/MCVTE, op. cit.
. As advised by DoCS. This figure is in contrast to the RoGS estimate of 64.5 per cent participation rate for NSW in the year before full time school which does not take account of fully privately funded preschool services.
. Department of Community
. As advised by DET.
. As advised by DEET.
. J. Ferrari, ‘Preschool
vow depends on finding the teachers’, The Australian, 14 February
2008. See also M. Kronemann, Education
is the Key: An Education Future for Indigenous
. For further information see
. South Australia. Department
of Education and Children’s Services,
. For the various rates see Department
of Education and Early Childhood Development,
. For further information see
. For further information see
and Incentives for Early Childhood
. Victoria. Department of Education
and Early Childhood Development (DEECD),
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