Children enrolled in preschool education at Canberra's non-government schools should be funded at 50 per cent of pupils in kindergarten to year 3 classes, according to a budget submission.
The Non-Government Schools Education Council has used the budget submission to call on Education Minister Joy Burch to consider per-capita funding support for preschool students to reflect preschool hours relative to primary school hours.
Tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, the document calls for the ACT to join other states in funding, as well as for increases in support for students with disabilities, better internet infrastructure and parent engagement.
The organisation said school education costs had risen greatly and an indexation figure of 3 per cent would not keep up with further rises.
''There is a need to address quality teaching provided by tertiary qualified professionals in the area of early childhood education,'' chairwoman Narelle Hargreaves said in the document. ''It is noted that other states provide funding support for preschool students in non-government schools.''
Ms Hargreaves said there had been delays to the implementation of national education reforms since the election of the Abbott government.
''It is still not clear to ACT non-government school providers how the 'needs-based' funding model … will apply to each ACT non-government school. The sooner clarity emerges here, the better non-government school providers will be able to assess their forward estimate needs,'' she said.
Schools' ability to plan is vital to maintaining confidence in their viability longer term, including for teachers and parents.
The Government Schools Education Council used its submission to call for better ''educational leadership capacity'' for administrators and teachers.
It said external evaluation strategies would increase public accountability, and more meaningful participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their families in educational pathway planning and decision making was needed.
''To maintain the claim that the ACT has the highest levels of achievement of all Australian states and territories, … we must ensure the number of students in our ACT public schools who are not achieving is being reduced; that we do have the evidence necessary to assert that our ACT public schools are 'up there' with the best in the nation, and; that we are promoting equity as well as excellence,'' the submission said.