Premier Jay Weatherill is calling on the Commonwealth Government to fund preschool for 3 year-olds, improving the educational outcomes and future career success of children across the State and the nation.

The States and Territories have commissioned an independent report into early childhood interventions, which is expected to be released soon.

The Premier has long championed dropping the preschool age from 4 years-old to 3 years-old.

The extra year of early education is known to significantly enhance a child’s development and lifelong learning and health trajectory.

The Premier has proposed the lowering of the preschool age to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG).

Former Adelaide Thinker in Residence, the late Dr Fraser Mustard, says that every dollar a Government spends supporting the development of children saves between $4 - $8 longer term.

The missing piece of the school funding debate is investment in early learning which has a profound impact on school outcomes.

Background

State and Territory officials have commissioned an independent report to examine the most effective ways to boost school-readiness, achievement in school, and future success in further education and employment.

Quotes attributable to Premier Jay Weatherill

Research unequivocally shows that those who fall short of key developmental milestones at 5 years-old find these gaps very difficult to close.

By starting preschool a year earlier, we can catch any problems earlier, greatly improving the likelihood of rectifying them.

I have long advocated for changes to early childhood, and ahead of the release of this independent report, I renew my calls for the Federal Government to fund preschool for 3 year-olds.

Quotes attributable to Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close

Better investment in the early years would undoubtedly mean better outcomes for children – especially those with learning and other difficulties.

The States and Territories have lost out with the withdrawal of the Gonski funding by the Federal Government.

Having failed our children through Gonski, the Federal Government needs to heed the recommendations of this report and boost funding for early childhood education.

In August the Prime Minister said he would send the Turnbull Government National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to early childhood education ‘soon’ and we are still waiting. The current agreement ends in 23 days.

This is the height of hypocrisy and has resulted in families not knowing what will happen with preschool funding next year.