What is a Royal Commission?

    Royal Commissions are held to investigate issues of public significance.

    A Royal Commission is independent - this means it has the power to investigate freely and form its views without intervention from government, industry and lobby groups. 

    In recent years in South Australia, Royal Commissions have taken place to inquire into a problem or look at when something has gone wrong. This isn't the case for the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care - instead this is an opportunity to propose new solutions. 

    How will the Royal Commission work?

    The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care will bring together a range of expert opinions and research to shape recommendations for the government. 

    This will involve looking at our interstate and international counterparts to determine the best practices as well as hearing from key stakeholders - including South Australian families. 

    The Royal Commission will do this through: 

    • public hearings to define the issues - published online
    • online public forums with parents and caregivers (including dedicated sessions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and families of children with a disability) 
    • a series of roundtables with educators, experts, unions and service providers
    • formal written submissions. 

    Visit the Royal Commission website for more information. 

    What is the Royal Commission investigating?

    The Royal Commission is looking into what more can be done to support South Australian children in their early years. 

    In particular, it will examine: 

    • how families are supported in the first few years of a child's life (the 'first 1000 days') and how early childhood education and care can help lead to better outcomes
    • how universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-old children could be delivered in South Australia, making it accessible, affordable and of a high quality 
    • how out of school hours care might be available for all children of preschool and primary school ages. 

    Unlike many others, this Royal Commission is not looking back at the problems of the past. 

    Instead, this Royal Commission will hear expert evidence, insights from educators, experts, unions and service providers and the experiences and views of families, parents and carers. 

    It will then provide evidence-based advice to the government on delivering a high-quality early years system that is fit for the future. 

    Read our Community guide to learn more.

    What will happen at the end of the Royal Commission?

    The Royal Commission will be undertaking comprehensive research and listening to key stakeholders until mid-2023. 

    An Interim Report will be released in April, focusing on 3-year-old preschool delivery, and then the Final Report will be released at the end of August 2023. 

    The government will then consider the report and the recommendations, and look at how to implement them. 

    See our Community guide for a timeline of the Royal Commission's activities.