ACT Early Childhood Strategy

We know that the period from birth through to eight years, especially the first three years, sets the foundation for every child’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development. Because of this we want to ensure that every child in the ACT gets the best start to life.

In working towards this goal, we are developing an Early Childhood Strategy for the Territory. The aim of the Strategy is for every child to participate in quality early childhood education and care prior to them starting school. It will focus on four key elements:

  • increasing access, equity and affordability
  • enhancing workforce and qualifications
  • ensuring seamless transitions from education and care to school
  • maximising the benefit to children from money spent.

We are working on the Strategy in consultation with the early childhood education and care sector, through the ACT Early Childhood Advisory Council.

Working Towards Early Childhood Education for Every Three-Year-Old Child

As a key part of the ACT Early Childhood Strategy, on 31 July 2018 the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development announced that the Government has set a goal to introduce the phased implementation of 15 hours per week, 600 hours per year of free universal quality early childhood education for three-year-old children in the ACT.

We will engage an expert consultancy firm to undertake the work needed to help us develop the specifics of this initiative.

Joining the Conversation

Over the coming months we will have conversations with parents, the early childhood education sector, schools and the wider community about the Early Childhood Strategy and how the government can make access to quality early childhood education for our three-year-olds universally available.


  • August 2017 – first meeting of the Early Childhood Advisory Council
  • July 2018 – Minister’s announcement
  • August 2018 – scoping and modelling analysis commences

Contact Us

Name: Early Childhood Policy team, ACT Education Directorate
Phone: 620 75439
Email: if you have any questions about the Early Childhood Strategy

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