FEDERAL Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said the Abbott Government will commit $406 million to ensure families in the New England Electorate can continue to access up to 15 hours of preschool per week in 2015.
Mr Joyce confirmed the Commonwealth is offering NSW an extension of the current national partnership arrangement for preschool funding for a further 12 months after they expire in December 2014.
“This announcement is first and foremost about giving our local parents and preschools certainty for next year,” Mr Joyce said.
“The Abbott Government is committed to supporting high-quality early childhood education and care for Australian families and this $406 million for preschools is another example.”
“Extending the national partnership for 12 months is a common-sense approach, given the current Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Learning is not due to hand its report to the Government until late October this year,” Mr Joyce said.
The Government will also take into account findings from an independent review into the current national partnership on preschools, the Federation White Paper and the review of the National Quality Framework governing child care and early childhood learning quality standards and regulations.
Mr Joyce said the Commonwealth’s offer is based on the same funding methodology as the current national partnership arrangements for preschool and individual offers will be made to state and territory governments shortly.
He said it would be inappropriate to comment further until these discussions are finalised.