Wilcannia Central School

River of knowledge and learning | Ngurtaana Paakna-na

Telephone08 8091 5801


Universal Access

What is Universal Access?

Universal Access ensures that a quality preschool program is available for all children in the year before full-time school. National Partnership arrangements focus on increasing participation by Indigenous children, as well as vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

In our community this means that all Aboriginal children are able to access the Barlu Kurli Preschool for two years before school (from the start of the School Term following their third birthday). Research shows that participating in a quality preschool program can significantly increase positive education and life outcomes for children, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Proof of long-lasting benefits of preschool can be seen in assessment results for Year 3 students, where children who attended preschool obtain consistently better results across all areas.

Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data demonstrates that children who attend preschool are also less likely to be developmentally vulnerable across all five developmental domains upon arrival at school.

Benefits from transitioning to Universal access guidelines

  • Families can have choice about which Preschool session they enrol their child/children in.

  • No child between the ages of 3-5 will miss out on equal opportunity to access Preschool (5 days a fortnight for all – as per Universal Access national law).

  • Preschool children will have smaller class sizes and therefore increased access to quality preschool education and care.

Families will have set days of the week where they can plan trips and attend other family focused community events such as local playgroups, knowing their child isn't missing out on anything at preschool. 

From Term 4, 2017, the Preschool will run two sessions on a five-day fortnightly rotation. Children will have set days upon which they can attend. Children can attend either Session 1 or Session 2.

Session 1:

Odd weeks - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Even weeks - Monday, Tuesday.

Session 2:

Odd weeks – Thursday, Friday 

Even weeks - Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Implementing the Universal access policy for students at the preschool

All preschool in NSW are governed by both the NSW and Federal Governments. We are required to comply with all their regulations or the preschool will not be able to continue to operate.

A key regulation is the Universal Access National Preschool Strategy which requires equal access to preschool for all children in our community who are aged between 3 and 5 years of age. (More information about Universal access can be found below.)

Since the number of children at our Preschool has increased during the year to 25 children, we need to make some changes about the number of hours we can offer each child to comply with Universal Access rules.