ACT Election Announcements

Free early learning for every three year old child

September 21, 2020

Under a re-elected Labor Government, every three year old child in Canberra will have access to one day a week of free early learning by the end of the next term of government.

This is a major step towards ACT Labor’s goal of providing 15 hours per week of free, quality early childhood education for three year old children.

Already, every four year old in the ACT has access to 15 hours a week of early childhood education under a National Partnership Agreement.

However, ACT Labor is committed to providing expanded access to early learning for families in the ACT.

Well established research has shown that the period from birth through to eight years—especially the first three years—sets the foundation for every child’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development.

In 2020, the ACT Labor Government started this work by providing 600 three year old children most in need with access to access 15 hours a week of free, quality early childhood education.

A re-elected ACT Labor Government will continue to work with the early childhood and care sector in Canberra to deliver this service for all families with three year old children in the ACT.

It is anticipated that by the end of the term, this commitment will require an investment of approximately $15 million a year from a re-elected ACT Labor Government.

The most important factor for quality early childhood education is a skilled and stable workforce.

ACT Labor will invest in local educators, supporting more people to get a degree qualification and ensure educators have access to professional development.

For many families, access to early learning for children means access to the workforce for parents.

As we navigate the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to remove barriers to workforce participation.

Only ACT Labor can continue to improve access to early childhood education in Canberra in a way that supports the early childhood education and care sector, educators, and families.