Early Budget signals for SA indicate big spend on early learning
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Early Budget signals for SA indicate big spend on early learning

Early Budget signals for SA indicate big spend on early learning

by Freya Lucas

June 04, 2024

The South Australian Government is tipped to set aside $715 million over five years to implement the recommendations of the early learning royal commission in its upcoming Budget. 


Specifically, almost three quarters of a billion dollars will be spent to roll out preschool for three-year-olds in South Australia, building on recommendations from the Commission gathered via a series of data collections, meetings with early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector representatives and others.


The Commission released its final report last year after being tasked with finding how to deliver Labor’s election promise for three-year-old preschool from 2026.


Two pilot sites will run in 2025, offering preschool for children aged three and four years, before a phased roll out of availability of preschool places for three-year-olds, based on location and other factors, over six years until 2032, the ABC reports. 


The funding also allocates money to develop the ECEC workforce and deliver up to 30 hours per week of preschool for children “at greatest risk of developmental vulnerability”.


“This is a massive change,” Premier Peter Malinauskas said.


“We’re effectively adding a whole new year of public education that will benefit young people and their parents forever more.”


“Over 23 per cent of young South Australians start reception with at least one form of developmental delay. If we can reduce that number from 23 to 15 per cent, that literally changes the lives of thousands of young South Australians.”


SA Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said the funding was “one of the key announcements” of this year’s budget, which will  deliver a “significant and fundamental change” to education.


“We will be getting thousands of children into education earlier, into play-based learning, to set themselves up,” he said.


“This will be transformational for the state’s future, including our economic opportunities — making sure that more younger South Australians are better equipped to take on the jobs of the future.”


Read the ABC coverage of this announcement here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button