The ACT Government will introduce universal access to 15 hours of early childhood education for three-year-olds as part of a broader early childhood strategy to be announced later in the year.
In an opinion piece for The Canberra Times, ACT Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry announced the move as being reflective of the research on how important early childhood education is to improve outcomes for children.
“Through work on the strategy it has become clear that there is an opportunity for the ACT to make radical progress, most significantly through providing free, universal quality early childhood education for three year old children,” said Ms Berry.
“I am excited to say that I have been working towards including a plan for this as a key part of the strategy when it is released later this year.”
The Canberra Times also reported that the ACT Government would begin consultations with the sector and the community before announcing details of the rollout. It is not yet known if the broader early childhood education and care sector would be included in this provision. Currently, universal access to preschool for four-year-olds is only provided in ACT Government preschools.
The move woulds see the ACT accepting the key recommendation of the Lifting Our Game Report, which was provided to all State and Territory Education Ministers earlier this year.