Best for Children Safety

Importance of early childhood education

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While this guide focuses on your child’s education at school, it is important to recognise that high quality education early in life gives children the best start.

All Queensland children are eligible to attend Year 1 if they attain the age of 6 years by 30 June in the year they propose to enrol in Year 1. This is considered compulsory schooling.

Before this time there are many options:

  • a child may go to child care, playgroup, creche, or community kindergarten
  • some children with disability may be eligible to access an early childhood development program or services
  • in the year before compulsory schooling, many children attend Prep

Early childhood education and care

For young children, care and education cannot be separated. Young children learn through play and learn best when receiving quality care.

The benefits of quality early childhood education and care are listed below:

  • You can place your child in child care or kindergarten and know they are safe and well cared for by people who have a qualification and share an understanding about what is important for your child.
  • Your child will have the opportunity to develop skills by playing with others and taking part in activities that build on their abilities and interests.
  • You will be supported in caring for your child.
  • You will have increased opportunities to work, attend appointments or recreational activities or have time to yourself.

There is a range of early childhood education and care services for young children, including licensed and unlicensed, centre-based and home-based services. The government gives assistance for services to support children with disability. Talk to individual providers to find out about how they may cater for your child.

It is important to consider the full range of early education and care options available to your child, and place your child’s name on waiting lists if necessary.

The Queensland Government Office for Early Childhood Education and Care provides families with up-to-date information about licensed early childhood education and care services in their local area and has parent tip sheets on a range of topics including:

  • beginner’s guide to education and care services
  • choosing your child’s education and care
  • settling into early childhood education and care
  • what to expect from your early childhood education and care service.

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