Inquiry calls for universal preschool for three-year-olds to be rolled out in SA from 2026
This is just Leftist anti-family rubbish. Karl Marx would be pleased. There is no basis for it in science. The research shows that kids do better at home rather than in preschool. Preschool in fact holds the kids back, often permanently. Mothers are the best teachers in all but the most deprived homes. See the following for summaries of the evidence:
What Gillard "genuinely believes" is of no importance
A royal commission investigating how best to launch an earlier start to education in South Australia has recommended all three-year-olds be entitled to 600 hours of preschool a year.
The Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care was launched last year to work out how best to deliver the SA Labor Party's election promise to give three-year-old children access to preschool from 2026.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who was appointed to lead the $2.45 million commission, has made 33 recommendations in her interim report handed to the state government today.
Ms Gillard said three-year-olds should be offered the same universal entitlement to preschool currently offered to four-year-old children — 600 hours a year, or 15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year.
"I genuinely believe this report should be of interest to every South Australian, whether or not they have young children in their family or young children in contemplation in their families' future," she said.
"We have a moral obligation to every child to make sure every child has the best opportunity to grow and learn and thrive."
The commission recommends 15 hours a week be viewed as a minimum and is also contemplating greater entitlements to fund extra hours for children deemed most at risk of developmental delays.
"We also, as a state, have a shared economic interest in making sure that we set our children on the best pathway in life, because the research tells us crystal clear that intervention in the early years can make the biggest difference," Ms Gillard said.
"If we do not set children up well in the early years of life, if children present to school with developmental delays then it can be very hard to catch up and that disadvantage will continue to show in their adult life.
"It shows in life expectancy, in poorer health, in poorer economic outcomes, in greater welfare dependency and even potentially in involvement with crime."
The proposed approach will cost the state about $162 million a year.
The commission recommends three-year-old preschool be delivered in a mix of government and non-government settings, including in early learning centres and long day care.
The approach will need 32 new preschools to be built, at a cost of $111.2 million.
Ms Gillard said the approach would also build on the work currently being done by those who worked in early childhood education, often informally and unpaid, to link families with other support systems.
"That can be everything from recognising that a child might need to be connected to the professional services of a speech pathologist, to recommending to a family that if they need assistance with food, that is a Foodbank in the local community," she said.
"At the moment that kind of building of connections is being done as an act of goodwill of individuals, it's not built-in as a feature of practice all day every day and we want to make sure that it is."
Premier Peter Malinauskas said it would be the biggest reform to early childhood education the state had ever seen.
"What we're doing here isn't just nation-leading, but it's global-leading," he said.
"It's important we look at these recommendations with a holistic view, that we take the time to ask questions, and critically view our education system, so that any actions from this are the right ones for the next generation."
The commission, which is seeking feedback from the public on its report, found the rollout "could be completed by 2032", but is still looking into the issue of workforce supply.
The final report is scheduled to be released in August.