SA 2022-23 Budget confirms ongoing commitment to ECEC with multiple key initiatives

SA 2022-23 Budget confirms ongoing commitment to ECEC with multiple key initiatives

by Jason Roberts

June 07, 2022

The South Australian 2022-23 Budget has confirmed the state’s commitment to developing the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector with a series of initiatives designed to ensure early childhood education is available to support each child to reach their potential.


This year’s Budget included reference to funding a Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care, which was a key part of the Governing Labor party’s pre-election pledges, as well as the creation of an Early Years Strategy akin to that developed in the ACT and Victoria. 


However, there was no mention of any Budget allocation to another key pre-election pledge, namely the roll out of three year old universal access to pre-school, however SA Premier Peter Malinauskas provided clarity on this matter after the Budget was presented.


“Funding a royal commission to get the state in a position to start delivering three-year-old pre-school by 2026 – that’s the commitment and that’s exactly what we are going to deliver,” Mr Malinauskas said.  


“This is the single biggest undertaking that our education system has ever seen and we are determined to deliver it and that’s why we are having a royal commission – to make sure we are getting it right from the start.”


Elsewhere in the Budget funding was allocated for the reinstatement of annual mid-year intakes (from July 2023) for students in government preschools and schools which may boost potential uptake, as well as a commitment to expand support for preschool students with autism.


The full list of Budget items relating to ECEC are as follows:


  • Contribute to the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care – $2m allocated


  • Commence planning to introduce an annual mid-year intake from July 2023 for students in government preschools – $72.4 million allocated for whole initiative 


  • Expand supports for preschool students with autism, including increasing the number of qualified support staff and offering targeted early intervention services in children’s centres – $28.8 million allocated


  • Develop and implement a “whole of government” Early Years Strategy to monitor the performance of the universal early years system.


  • Develop a commissioning model to expand child development checks.


  • Implement strategies to increase enrolments in preschools and to reduce barriers to Aboriginal children’s attendance.


To access the South Australian 2022- 23 Budget papers please click here