Two years are better than one
Providing universal access to preschool programs for all 3 year old children is an achievable and desirable policy goal for Australia.
Monday 31 October 2016
Providing universal access to preschool programs for all three-year-old children is an achievable and desirable policy goal for Australia.
With two thirds of three-year-olds accessing early education and care (ECEC) services, Australia already has the foundations of a universal preschool program. The challenge is to:
- make sure all three-year-olds receive the 'dose' of high quality early learning through a dedicated preschool program that will have a sustained impact on their development
- ensure the children currently missing out due to financial and non-financial barriers have the opportunity to participate.
The Mitchell Institute recommends that as an immediate and low-cost first step, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agree to commission a scoping study into three-year preschool programs.
COAG should commission a scoping study into universal three-year-old preschool programs for Australia. The study should be completed by the end of 2017 and should identify:
- delivery gaps and opportunities
- core process and structural quality elements
- strategies to address barriers to access for priority cohorts
- jurisdiction-specific implementation options
- improvements in data collection needed to track impact.
Fact sheets in this series
- Preschool programs for 3 year olds (PDF, 202.64 KB)
- International preschool programs for 3 year olds (PDF, 110.89 KB)
- Designing a preschool program (PDF, 265.51 KB)
- An additional year of preschool – an achievable reform (PDF, 216.07 KB)
- The impact of two years of preschool (PDF, 153 KB)
- Preschool programs in the ACT (PDF, 182.21 KB)
- Preschool programs in New South Wales (PDF, 184.45 KB)
- Preschool programs in the Northern Territory (PDF, 180.77 KB)
- Kindergarten programs in Queensland (PDF, 201.36 KB)
- Preschool programs in South Australia (PDF, 201.76 KB)
- Kindergarten programs in Tasmania (PDF, 200.29 KB)
- Kindergarten programs in Victoria (PDF, 172.69 KB)
- Kindergarten programs in Western Australia (PDF, 189.87 KB).