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Working Together for 3 Year Olds – targeted pre-school initiative

The Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff MP, has recently announced that the Government has decided not to proceed with implementing the voluntary earlier school starting age, but instead to implement the Working Together for 3 Year Olds – targeted pre-school initiative to provide Government subsidised participation in quality and accredited pre-school programs for eligible three year old children, for 10 hours a week (400 hours a year).

The Government has made this decision based on the recommendations from the Secretary’s report on the social and economic impacts of implementing the voluntary earlier school starting age.

The Government will provide $10.5 million per annum to fund delivery of the Working Together for 3 Year Olds initiative. This initiative will commence in 2020 and provide Government subsidised participation in quality and accredited pre-school programs for eligible three year old children, for 10 hours a week (400 hours a year). The program will be delivered primarily by accredited early childhood education and care services. Delivery in the government school sector will only be considered where no accredited ECEC facility is available.

It is also why the Government will be retaining key commitments made to support implementation of the earlier school starting age in the school sector will be retained.

This includes:

  • Supporting children from Kindergarten to Year 2 with developmentally appropriate learning frameworks, as required under the new Education Act;
  • Recurrent funding of $4.9 million for additional support in Prep;
  • Assessing government Kindergartens against the National Quality Standard. The Department is currently working to identify the infrastructure requirements to fulfil this commitment, which will be funded, and the additional regulatory requirements to be considered going forward.

Further information, including a Fact Sheet, Frequently Asked Questions and a copy of the Secretary’s report is available at the following link.

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