On 25 September, the federal government announced the development of a Preschool Outcomes Measure as part of the Preschool Reform Agreement (PRA). The PRA locks in Australian government funding for preschool to the end of 2025, and commits state and territory governments to a collaborative reform agenda. The aim of the reform agenda is to improve preschool participation and outcomes.
The federal government delivers funding for five hours of four-year-old kindergarten programs in Victoria, with the state government providing the remaining funds to support the additional 10 hours per week. The federal government is yet to commit to funding three-year-old kinder programs, which is why we are continuing to run the national Preschool Funding Now campaign.
Currently, there are real inequities for three and four-year-old children, with access to two years of free kindergarten, dependent on where they live.
Currently, there are real inequities for three and four-year-old children, with access to two years of free kindergarten, dependent on where they live. You can sign a letter to Prime Minister Albanese (scan the QR code below), calling on the federal Labor government to fund two years of free public preschool across Australia.
All states and territories in Australia have agreed to implement a national Preschool Outcomes Measure. The POM will initially focus on two key learning areas – Oral Language, and Literacy and Executive Function. It will be made up of:
new national learning progressions in two domains – executive function, and oral language and literacy
a new national assessment tool for teachers and educators to measure a child’s progress against these learning progressions
existing early learning assessment tools demonstrated to align with the new national learning progressions.
The development of a new national POM will be finalised in 2024, with a national tool to be trialled in 2025. States and territories may choose to trial the new national tool or use an existing or modified assessment tool.
On this basis, Victorian services will not be required to participate in the national trial. The POM will not change the use of the Early Years Assessment and Learning Tool (EYALT) in Victoria, and the rollout of the EYALT will continue as planned. The same policy parameters will continue to apply – use of the EYALT is not mandatory, and child and service data will not be collected nationally. The new learning progressions will align with existing benchmarks of quality preschool, including the NQS and EYLF.
Once the national learning progression is developed, Victoria will seek to confirm the alignment of the EYALT.