Preschool Education

Research shows that early childhood is a vital period in children's learning and development. Quality early childhood education and care lays a foundation for future success.

Preschool education focuses on learning through play for children in the year before full time school. In the ACT children can access 15 hours of free preschool education at public preschools.

National Quality Framework (NQF)

Introduced in 2012, the National Quality Framework (NQF) provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services across Australia. The NQF comprises the Education and Care Services Law and Education and Care Services National Regulations, National Quality Standard, assessment and rating process, and national learning frameworks.

Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)

Early childhood curriculum is framed by Belonging, Being and Becoming The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (EYLF). The EYLF guides educators, in partnership with families, to develop a play-based curriculum that supports children to develop a strong sense of identity, to connect with and contribute to their world, strengthen wellbeing, become confident and involved learners and effective communicators.

The EYLF guides curriculum decisions in ACT public preschools, providing a foundation for quality teaching and learning.

National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a high national benchmark for early childhood education and care services in Australia. The NQS includes 7 quality areas, 15 standards and 40 elements.

ACT public preschools are assessed and rated against the NQS and given a rating for each of the 7 quality areas and an overall rating. The rating must be displayed at the preschool, and are also published on the national registers.

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)

The Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority (ACECQA) works with state and territory governments to provide guidance, resources, and services to support the early childhood sector to improve outcomes for children.

Preschool Compliance

ACT Public Preschools must meet the obligations of the Education and Care Services National Law (ACT) Act 2011

Early Childhood Education Regulation

The ACT Regulatory Authority, Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA) administers the Education and Care National Law and the Education and Care Services National Regulations covering approved early childhood education and care services in the ACT.

Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA)

Children’s Education and Care Assurance (CECA), a section of the Education Directorate, administers the legislation covering all approved education and care services in the ACT including public and non-government preschools, long day care, family day care, and outside school hours care. CECA officers conduct compliance visits and undertake the assessment and rating process.

Early Childhood Australia

Early Childhood Australia is Australia’s peak early childhood advocacy organisation, acting in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood profession.

Early Entry into Preschool and Kindergarten Procedures

Applications for early entry into preschool and kindergarten under the Early Entry for Gifted and Talented Children and Early Entry for Mobility procedures are administered by the Learning and Teaching Branch.

Applications for early entry into preschool and kindergarten under the Early Entry for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Early Entry for Children with English as an Additional Language or Dialect procedures are made through the online enrolment process and administered by the receiving school.

Professional Learning – Preschool Practice

The Learning and Teaching Branch facilitates professional learning focused on pedagogy and practice aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework. Upcoming sessions are advertised through the Schools Bulletin and the Professional Learning Events Calendar.

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