Joint Media Release: Delivering a quality preschool system for Australian children

28 September 2023



Minister for Early Childhood Education

Minister for Youth



QLD Minister for Education



TAS Minister for Education, Children and Youth



WA Minister for Early Childhood Education



ACT Minister for Education and Youth Affairs



VIC Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep



NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning



NT Minister for Education



SA Minister for Education, Training and Skills


Australians will have access to the quality preschool system children deserve and families expect thanks to the federal, state and territory governments.

A Preschool Outcomes Measure will be developed and trialled nationally to help meet the ongoing development and education needs of children in the year before school.

Delivered in partnership between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, the Preschool Outcomes Measure will play a vital role in ensuring children are able to access the transformational benefits of quality early childhood education, no matter where they live.

The Measure will include a new evidence-based teaching tool to help educators and teachers understand a child’s strengths and capabilities and plan the next steps in their learning journey.

The trial will focus on two age-appropriate, nationally agreed learning progression domains: executive function, a child’s ability to plan and remember instructions, and oral language and literacy, a child’s ability to communicate and create through language.

These two domains have been selected as they are foundational skills that support children to thrive.

The new teaching tool will be applied through play-based learning, complementing the everyday practices of educators and teachers when observing children’s learning and development.

To be designed in partnership with the sector and stakeholders, the teaching tool will streamline current processes, making life easier for educators and teachers while improving learning outcomes for children.

The voluntary trial will commence in 2025, with jurisdictions that have existing tools able to align their programs with the new national learning progressions, rather than having to adopt the new teaching tool.

This new national approach will help educators and teachers to identify children who may need additional early support, ensuring they don’t fall behind.

With a child-centred and play-based focus, the teaching tool will not be a test, and will not be used to benchmark.

The Preschool Outcomes Measure is a key reform under the $2 billion Preschool Reform Agreement being jointly progressed by the Australian and state and territory governments.

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Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly

“The Preschool Outcomes Measure will be designed to seamlessly integrate into the everyday practice of preschool educators and teachers.

“No child born into disadvantage should have to carry that disadvantage throughout their life, by supporting children to build foundational skills, we’re helping to break cycles of disadvantage.

“Children who access quality early learning do better across key health and education measures – they also go onto thrive into adulthood, with greater graduation rates and higher paying jobs.

“I thank my state and territory colleagues for their ongoing collaboration and genuine partnership in progressing this important work.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs Yvette Berry

“High quality early education plays a critical role in supporting children in life-long learning.

“The Preschool Outcomes Measure will support early childhood educators to do what they do best – build brains.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car

“I am delighted to see this new child-focused, play-based measure being rolled out in New South Wales and across the country, helping our littlest learners to thrive.

“Learning begins from a young age and developing a national approach will help enhance our early childhood system, creating stronger pathways for children to progress into their education.

“New South Wales is proud to work with our Federal counterparts to achieve the goal of giving our young students the best possible start to their educational lives.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education Eva Lawler

“As a long standing educator, I deeply understand the value and importance of early childhood learning, and the benefits which will come from building stronger foundations.

“This new approach will greatly assist our dedicated teachers to identify where additional support is needed, a step which will play a crucial role in a child’s life.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education Grace Grace

“The Palaszczuk Government welcomes the work occurring across jurisdictions in partnership with the Australian Government on the Preschool Outcomes Measure.

“Queensland has consulted with key early childhood stakeholders including unions on this important work and will continue this engagement over the coming months. 

“This initiative will support the great work that already happens in kindy programs across the country and complement our ongoing work to support early childhood educators and families.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education, Training and Skills Blair Boyer 

“Early intervention before a child starts school, goes a long way to support social and emotional wellbeing, as well as cognitive and language skills.

“By targeting supports, we can ensure the most significant outcomes, because getting the early years right can make the biggest difference to a child’s life.

“It is critical that any Outcomes Measure developed supports our teachers to continue to deliver high-quality practices that inform a child’s learning.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education, Children and Youth Roger Jaensch 

“The value of a child’s early years cannot be understated, the evidence is clear that investing in the early years is key to helping break the cycle of disadvantage particularly for children experiencing vulnerability.

“As part of the national approach we provide Kindergarten in schools in Tasmania and I look forward to progressing these important reforms and ensuring Tasmania’s highly successful early learning context continues to improve outcomes for children.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep Ingrid Stitt

"We're proud to work in partnership with all governments to further develop the Preschool Outcomes Measure, which will equip early childhood teachers and educators across the country with cutting-edge assessment and learning practices – supporting all children to thrive.

“Early childhood services in Victoria are already transforming education for our youngest learners though the Early Years Assessment and Learning Tool, which is the Victorian Government’s approved Preschool Outcomes Measure being rolled out across the state.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Early Childhood Education Sabine Winton

“I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this important child-centred and play-based measurement tool to support positive outcomes in children’s early years development.

“Our Government knows that when we invest in our children, we are investing in their future and the future of Western Australia.”