ECEC sector responds well to pre Budget announcements
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Positive responses to the SA Budget roll in from across the ECEC sector

Positive responses to the SA Budget roll in from across the ECEC sector

by Freya Lucas

June 06, 2024

Representatives from across the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector have responded positively to the South Australian budget, which will be formally released this evening. 


A number of announcements were made in the lead up to the Budget, most significantly that $715 million will be allocated to early learning over a five year period. 


“We congratulate Premier Malinauskas and Minister Boyer on this significant and long-term investment in early learning in South Australia, and the commitment to addressing vulnerability and ensuring access to quality 3-year-old preschool across the state as soon as possible,” Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) CEO Elizabeth Death said.


The $715 million investment is part of a $1.9 billion package over the period 2023-2033 and will enable implementation of universal 3-year-old preschool and other key recommendations from the 2023 Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care.


“The Preschool Directors Association, and the broader SA Thrive by Five Alliance, is excited by the announcement of significant financial investment in early childhood. This investment will enable preschools to build on the work they already do in supporting children and families to thrive,” Kate Ryan, President of the Preschool Directors Association of South Australia said.


The SA Government investment in the 2024/25 South Australian Budget includes:


  • $339.7 million over five years to deliver universal 3-year-old preschool in government and non-government settings (importantly, including at long day care services)


  • $127.3 million over four years to provide 30 hours per week of preschool to 3 and 4-year-old children at greatest risk of developmental vulnerability


  • $96.6 million over four years to build and maintain the early learning and care workforce, and provide support for quality teaching and learning in preparation for universal 3-year-old preschool delivery


  • $30.6 million over four years to align the support offered through 4-year-old preschool with enhanced supports being developed for 3-year-old preschool.


An investment of $14 million has been allocated to partner with Aboriginal communities to increase the benefits Aboriginal children receive from 3-year-old preschool, and invest in early learning and care provided by Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.


‘We know that this will not be easy to achieve, so commitments to working collaboratively over time with different service providers who meet the shared goal of high-quality is particularly welcome,” Early Childhood Australia CEO Samantha Page said. 


“So too is the attention on workforce, and the support for teachers and  educators from across all services is essential to provide a unified preschool program for our children.”


The Education Standards Board, SA’s Regulatory Authority has also been given additional support to increase the frequency of assessments and ratings.


Further information on the roll-out is available here. Once the Budget is announced on Thursday evening a link will be added here. 

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