The 2021-22 Federal Budget includes $3.3 billion dedicated to giving children the best start to their education through better access to preschool and more affordable child care.
The budget also included $1.7 billion to increase the child care subsidy for Australian families with multiple children under school age in child care and around $1.6 billion in ongoing Commonwealth funding for preschool education.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said investing in youth and education was an investment in Australia’s future and will help lock in our long-term economic recovery from COVID-19.
“We are backing young Australians right through their learning journey through our funding across early childhood education and care, schools, and higher education,” Tudge said.
“We are giving Australians the best chance to reach their full potential and to get the skills and qualifications they need to get into a job, now and in the longer term.”
This year’s budget also includes an additional $53.6 million of targeted support for international education providers most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the absence of international students.
While universities and many other higher education providers have benefitted from an increase in domestic students, some independent English language providers and higher education providers are almost entirely reliant on having international students onshore.
“Keeping our borders closed has been our best defence against COVID-19, but we realise the impact this has had on private providers,” Tudge added.
“Our package of support will help keep these businesses viable until international students can return in larger numbers.”
In terms of schooling, it was a record amount of funding for Australian schools with $24.4 billion in 2021-22.
This includes $4.0 million for the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) students and to move testing online.
From 2023, students considering a teaching degree will also be able to sit the test before commencing their studies, so they can make informed decisions about their suitability to become a teacher.
An additional $5.8 million has be allocated to continue the Australian Teacher Workforce Data collection project in collaboration with all states and territories to support teacher workforce policies and planning initiatives.