Early education has lifelong benefits. We know that play-based early learning is a powerful way to support children’s wellbeing and development.
Children who participate in early learning programs are more likely to stay longer in school and continue to further education. It sets children up well for success at school and into the future.
The 2023-24 ACT budget delivers the largest investment in early childhood education in the history of the ACT.
Starting early next year, every three-year-old child in Canberra will be able to access one day a week of free preschool – equating to 300 hours a year.
This will save the average Canberra family with a three-year-old child $1329 and over 5000 three-year-olds across Canberra will be eligible for the program.
Over $50 million dollars will be invested over four years to deliver this commitment.
The service will be rolled out through participating early childhood education centres across the ACT. More information and briefings for service providers on how they can participate will be made available in the coming months.
Early childhood educators are at the heart of what makes early learning great.
We know that to deliver free-three-year-old preschool, we need to support them do what they do best - build brains.
That’s why we’re delivering a comprehensive survey of workforce qualifications, capability and service capacity – so we can better understand how to support them.
We’re also establishing a professional learning and resource portal so ECEC services can access curated quality professional learning and development resources.
Early childhood educators and workers have advocated for this change for years – thank you for all you do.
Equitable and universal access to early childhood education is so important.
We look forward to continuing the rollout of this core election commitment.