The state and federal governments spent less per child in early education services in Tasmania in 2019/20 than anywhere else in Australia, a new report has shown.
The final section of the Productivity Commission's annual Report on Government Services 2021 has been released to provide a public report card on how each state is delivering educational services to the community.
It looked at child care, education and training up until 2020.
It showed the two governments spent $5717 per child in child care and preschool services in the state last financial year, compared to the national average expenditure of $7173. Tasmania spent the less and the Northern Territory spent the most at $10,387 per child.
Education Minister Jeremy Rockliff said the state recognised the importance of early learning.
"The data shows Tasmania has the highest portion of children enrolled in a preschool program the year before full time schooling for 15 hours per week or more," he said.
"We will continue to deliver increased access to high quality early learning through our Child and Family Learning Centres and our nation-leading Working Together initiative."
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It was the same story for expenditure per child aged 0-12 years, with Tasmania spending the least per child at $2013 compared to the national expenditure of $2531.
The proportion of people not in the labour force, mainly for childcare service related issues, rose from 37.5 per cent in 2019 to 47.1 per cent in 2020. The national average was 33.4 per cent last year.
The median weekly cost of 50 hours of federal supported child care services at centres was $479 in the state, compared to family day care at $539. The centre costs were less than the national figures, however the family day care was more expensive than the national $515.
Last year 69.3 per cent of 17-24 year old school leavers nationally were in education, training and/or employment, which was less than the four previous years but this was put down to the impacts of COVID-19.
This figure was lower in Tasmania, with only 60.5 per cent.
Mr Rockcliff said the retention rate in public schools from year 10 to 12 was 80.4 per cent in 2019, more than two per cent higher than the national average.
However, when comparing both of the state's schooling pathways, public and private, the retention rate dropped to 74.3 per cent. This was below the national average of 82 per cent.
Tasmania did excel in its school attendance in very remote areas for students in years 1-10, with 89 per cent in 2019, compared to the national average of 70.5 per cent.
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