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Outcome 1 – Quality early learning and schooling

The department is responsible for national policy leadership on early childhood education, child care and schooling, which aims to maximise opportunity and prosperity for all by driving national reforms and quality improvements, including addressing vulnerability and disadvantage in childhood and communities.

Access to quality child care provides families with the opportunity to participate in work, study or volunteering in their communities, while their children access quality early learning to maximise their life potential. Access to quality preschool and school education provide children and young people with opportunity through learning, including pathways to further learning or to jobs.

Quality school education sets up our children for a successful and fulfilling life. The department leads the Australian Government’s efforts for a nationally consistent approach to school funding that assists every child to reach their full potential so they can fully participate in the workplace, economy and society.

‘One million families using approved child care for 1.6 million children.’

‘More than 3.8 million enrolled in Australian schools.’

Table 3 Outcome 1 activities and related strategies

Activities

Delivery strategies

Ensuring access to quality, affordable child care, enabling parents to work, train or study.

  • Supporting families to access targeted support for child care, while children benefit from quality early learning opportunities.
  • Ensuring families and child care services are supported to transition to new arrangements under the Government’s child care reforms, which will apply from 2 July 2018.
  • Protecting taxpayer funding by focusing on the integrity of child care payments, including continuing compliance activities.

Strengthening access to quality early learning and schooling, including for disadvantaged groups.

  • Supporting vulnerable or disadvantaged children and communities, so that more children can access quality child care and early learning services, including:
    • building the capacity and capability of child care services to better integrate children with additional needs through the Inclusion Support Programme
    • assisting child care services to reduce barriers in disadvantaged, regional and remote communities, including supporting eligible families and services to transition to new arrangements on 2 July 2018.
  • Supporting the delivery of at least 600 hours of quality early learning preschool programs for children in the year before full-time school in 2017 and 2018, and consulting with states and territories on longer term arrangements for preschools from 2019.
  • Supporting national initiatives, such as expanding the Learning for Life program and implementing the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability, that help to support disadvantaged school students.

Needs-based funding provided to support quality outcomes for every eligible school student in Australia.

  • Supporting the Government’s Quality Schools package, including implementing new Commonwealth school funding arrangements from 2018, which will be needs-based, transparent and tied to reforms that boost outcomes across the schooling sector.

Strengthening the national evidence base and lifting outcomes in Australian schools.

  • Contributing to national policy on the most effective teaching and learning strategies, including supporting the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, led by David Gonski AC, which will report to Government by March 2018.
  • Helping regional, rural and remote students to succeed in school and in their transition to further study, training and employment, by supporting the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, led by Emeritus Professor John Halsey, which will report to Government by December 2017.
  • Leading efforts to improve our national education evidence base and data for schools and preschools, which is critical for informed policy and decision making in education.
  • Improving school leadership and quality teaching nation-wide through a range of targeted initiatives, and supporting the delivery of the Australian Curriculum, which outlines the knowledge, skills and capabilities that all students need to succeed.
  • Supporting parents to be positively and actively involved in their child’s education, including through the Learning Potential app, an innovative and award-winning approach.

Creating and connecting transition pathways.

  • Preparing students for life beyond school, by supporting our ministers and working with education, industry, career and parent stakeholders to develop the National Career Education Strategy.

Table 4 Outcome 1 Performance criteria and targets

Performance Criteria—what we will measure

Programs

Method

2017–18
Performance targets

2018–19
Performance targets

2019–20
Performance targets

2020–21
Performance targets

Child care services and families successfully transition to new arrangements.1

1.1; 1.4

Qualitative assessment

IT system is ready for implementation on 2 July 2018.

Eligible services and families transition to new arrangements from 2 July 2018.

 

 

Capacity and capability of child care services to include children with additional needs.

1.1

Assessing Against baseline

 

Establish baseline data through new reporting tool.

Improved inclusion for children with additional needs.

Improved inclusion for children with additional needs.

Universal access to preschool education.

1.7

Reporting

95% of children enrolled in the year before full-time school are enrolled in quality early childhood education for 600 hours per year.

95% of children enrolled in the year before full-time school are enrolled in quality early childhood education for 600 hours per year.

 

 

Indigenous children’s access to preschool education.

1.7

Reporting

95% of Indigenous children enrolled in the year before full-time school are enrolled in quality early childhood education for 600 hours per year.2

95% of Indigenous children enrolled in the year before full-time school are enrolled in quality early childhood education for 600 hours per year.

 

 

Quality outcomes from Australian schooling.

1.5; 1.6; 1.7

National and International assessments

Greater proportion of students achieve at or above minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy under the National Assessment Program.3

Greater proportion of 15 year olds in 2018 (compared with 2015) achieve at or above Level 3 on each of the OECD PISA combined scales for reading, mathematics and scientific literacy.

Greater proportion of students achieve at or above minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy under the National Assessment Program.

Greater proportion of students achieve at or above minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy under the National Assessment Program.

Closing the Gap Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

1.5; 1.6; 1.7

Reporting

 

Halve the gap for Indigenous children in reading, writing and numeracy within a decade (by 2018). Close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous school attendance (by 2018).

 

Halve the gap for Indigenous people aged 20-24 in Year 12 or equivalent attainment rates (by 2020).

Performance criteria and targets relating to access to quality child care for 2018–19 and beyond are under development.

COAG’s Closing the Gap target is for 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.

Performance against the National Assessment Program targets are measured annually.

Footnotes

  1. Performance criteria and targets relating to access to quality child care for 2018–19 and beyond are under development.
  2. COAG’s Closing the Gap target is for 95 per cent of all Indigenous four-year-olds enrolled in early childhood education by 2025.
  3. Performance against the National Assessment Program targets are measured annually.