Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care

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We want to hear about what you need from early childhood education and care.

What's being decided?

The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care is investigating what can be done to better support families in South Australia so that our children can thrive, including offering 3-year-old preschool to all children.

Your input will help the Royal Commission gain a deeper understanding of how the early years system can better support children across South Australia.

Background

Research shows how crucial the years before school are to the rest of a child's life - 90% of adult brain development and growth occurs in the first 5 years.

A range of services provide what is called 'early childhood education and care'. These include:

  • long day care (often known as child care)
  • family day care
  • early learning centres
  • children's centres
  • preschool (often known as kindy or kindergarten).

The Royal Commission will focus on how these services can support all children to succeed, as well as looking at preschool for 3-year-old children and the supports families might need to access quality education and care, including out of school hours care at all ages.

Learn more about the Royal Commission and the current early years system on the Royal Commission website.

Get involved

The Royal Commission wants to hear from parents and caregivers across South Australia - especially those who live regionally.

The Royal Commission is asking you to share:

  • what is important to you when thinking about early childhood services for your child?
  • what services or experiences do you want for your child?
  • what is informing the choices you have made or will make?
  • what do you think is important for children's learning and development?

Have your say by reading our community guide and then taking our survey.

We will also be holding a number of online forums for parents and caregivers. To stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can also contact the Royal Commission by:

What are the next steps?

The Royal Commission is expected to run until mid-to-late 2023.

The Royal Commission will also speak with educators, experts, unions and service providers to develop the policy options to make South Australia's early childhood education and care system one that lays a strong foundation for all children.

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

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

We want to hear about what you need from early childhood education and care.

What's being decided?

The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care is investigating what can be done to better support families in South Australia so that our children can thrive, including offering 3-year-old preschool to all children.

Your input will help the Royal Commission gain a deeper understanding of how the early years system can better support children across South Australia.

Background

Research shows how crucial the years before school are to the rest of a child's life - 90% of adult brain development and growth occurs in the first 5 years.

A range of services provide what is called 'early childhood education and care'. These include:

  • long day care (often known as child care)
  • family day care
  • early learning centres
  • children's centres
  • preschool (often known as kindy or kindergarten).

The Royal Commission will focus on how these services can support all children to succeed, as well as looking at preschool for 3-year-old children and the supports families might need to access quality education and care, including out of school hours care at all ages.

Learn more about the Royal Commission and the current early years system on the Royal Commission website.

Get involved

The Royal Commission wants to hear from parents and caregivers across South Australia - especially those who live regionally.

The Royal Commission is asking you to share:

  • what is important to you when thinking about early childhood services for your child?
  • what services or experiences do you want for your child?
  • what is informing the choices you have made or will make?
  • what do you think is important for children's learning and development?

Have your say by reading our community guide and then taking our survey.

We will also be holding a number of online forums for parents and caregivers. To stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter.

You can also contact the Royal Commission by:

What are the next steps?

The Royal Commission is expected to run until mid-to-late 2023.

The Royal Commission will also speak with educators, experts, unions and service providers to develop the policy options to make South Australia's early childhood education and care system one that lays a strong foundation for all children.

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

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

  • Parent and carer online forums

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    The Royal Commissioner wants to hear directly from parents and carers and their experiences within the early childhood and education care system.

    We know the important role early education and care can provide to support little children’s best start for their journey of learning and development.

    An online forum is being held at 5.30pm on Tuesday 31 January 2023 to help shape a new early education and care system in South Australia for your children.

    We want to hear your views about:

    • What makes a quality early childhood education and care service?
    • What are the important factors you consider before you either have or are considering enrolling your child in preschool?

    Visit the Royal Commission's website to learn how you can participate.

  • Public hearings taking place

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    The Royal Commission will hold its first round of hearings on Wednesday 25 January 2023 and Friday 27 January 2023.

    The purpose of these initial hearings is to build a picture with respect to current early childhood education and care in South Australia along with a consideration of the impact of early childhood education and care on child development.

    Visit the Royal Commission website to watch the public hearings online and view the submissions from expert witnesses.

  • Stakeholder roundtables announced

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    The Royal Commission will convene two stakeholder roundtables, bringing together experts and service providers in early childhood development, education and policy.

    The purpose of the roundtables is to:

    • discuss the role of ECEC in supporting children, parents and carers in a child’s first 1000 days
    • consider what the commitment to 3-year-old preschool means for South Australian children, families, educators and providers.


    A stakeholder roundtable to discuss opportunities in Out of School Hours Care will be convened in 2023, and key stakeholders will be invited to participate in those discussions.

    Visit the Royal Commission website to learn more about the roundtables and see the list of participants.

  • 3-year-old preschool submissions now open

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    The Royal Commission is now calling for submissions about the development of universal 3-year-old preschool.

    The Royal Commission intends to make findings that will define 3-year-old preschool and the term ‘universal’. Part of the Royal Commission's inquiries will also include:

    • questions of sector analysis and capacity (both government and non-government)
    • delivery models
    • workforce
    • opportunities for innovation
    • an implementation pathway.


    There are a number of guiding questions to help shape submissions and assist the Royal Commission to identify issues, trends and opportunities.

    Visit the Royal Commission website for more information.

  • Expert Advisory Group appointed

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    The members of the Royal Commission Expert Advisory Group (EAG) have now been appointed.

    Chaired by the Royal Commissioner, the Hon Julia Gillard AC, the EAG will advise the Commissioner and help shape the areas of inquiry.

    As experts in their respective fields, each member will play an important role in ensuring the Royal Commission’s findings reflect the most contemporary thinking in early childhood education and care policy, operations and outcomes.

    Members of the EAG:

    • Dr Anne Glover AO
    • Professor Sally Brinkman, University of South Australia
    • Professor Leslie Loble AM
    • Dr Danielle Wood, Grattan Institute
    • Commissioner April Lawrie, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People (SA)
    • Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM
    • Professor Brett McDermott, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Tasmania

    Learn more about the EAG on the Royal Commission website.

Page last updated: 25 Jan 2023, 03:39 PM