The Federal Government has welcomed news that the country now has record numbers of ankle biters enrolled in pre-school.

ABS statistics show that 60,000 more children are now enrolled in pre-school than there were in 2008.

Minister for Early Childhood Peter Garrett said the report, Preschool Education, Australia 2012,  confirms the Government’s drive to improve early childhood education services is working.

“It’s pleasing that today’s report shows more than half of children enrolled are receiving a 15 hour a week program compared with about a third in 2011 and our commitment the Universal Access agreements have been central to this,” Mr Garrett said.

The report shows that 266,000 four and five year old children were enrolled in a program in the year before full-time school in 2012. The proportion of children enrolled has gone up by eight percentage points from 81 to 89 per cent.

According to the report, in 2012 there were 3,500 more Indigenous children receiving a preschool program in the year before school than in 2008. This means that more than 4 out of 5 Indigenous children were participating in a preschool program nationally.