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New early years system to better support parents and their children

We know a child’s first five years builds the foundational skills and abilities they need to be successful at school and life.

A new early years system is being developed to better support parents with their child’s early learning and development.

This is part of an initial $50.1 million investment over 4 years in our new 10-year Early Learning Strategy 2021 to 2031: All Young Children Thriving and Learning (PDF 2.7MB), to better support parents and their children in the early years. The Office for the Early Years within the Department for Education, will be responsible for this work.

The new early years system will focus on early years providers working together to engage and support families seamlessly so every child has the best start in life.

Over the next few years parents can expect:

  • expanded child health and development check partners (including new checks at 12 months and 3 years)
  • easy access to tips and resources including playgroups and parenting groups to support their child’s development
  • targeted local services in response to child development needs in each community. 

About the Office for the Early Years

The Office for the Early Years will provide a single point of leadership across the public sector to improve the proportion of children developmentally on track when starting school, and work with key agencies and organisations to ensure that the child screening development system is expanded.

The Office will provide guidance to the early years system across state government and non-government providers working in early years to deliver key elements of the Early Learning Strategy.

The Office will also continue to provide the Department for Education’s strategic leadership of early childhood policy and services for South Australia in focused areas of preschool, children’s centres for early childhood development and parenting (children’s centres), play centres and early literacy programs and Child Care (including out of school hours care, vacation care, rural care, and occasional care).

The Office will provide monitoring, policy and program support under the National Quality Framework, delivering on the obligations under the Australian Early Development Census, Commonwealth national preschool funding agreements, and supporting national policy and intergovernmental processes. 

Connection to the Early Learning Strategy

The Office for the Early Years will focus on the Growing learners – strengthened universal services work stream as part of the department’s co-designed 10-year Early Learning Strategy 2021 to 2031: All Children Thriving and Learning (PDF 2.7MB)

The Office will play a central coordination role in the implementation and delivery of the overall Strategy. The Office will also lead several key actions, focusing on:

  • the expansion of the child development screening system
  • strengthening existing early childhood services priorities, including responsive local programs and services supporting community priorities
  • strong support for families as they are a child’s first teacher, and
  • reduced barriers and increased participation in early childhood education and care services.

Office for the Early Years

Email: Education.OEY [at] sa.gov.au