A Brief History of Commonwealth Involvement in Early Education and Care is a research paper produced by the Centre for Policy Development in partnership with the South Australian Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care.
It was produced by CPD’s Early Childhood Development Initiative.
The paper surveys the origins of today’s early education and care system, noting its divergent evolution from a private, philanthropic system into today’s pre-school and long day care systems.
Prior to 1972, long day care was provided by a mix of philanthropic and private organisations, having evolved separately to preschools (which were not considered to meet the needs of working mothers because of their shorter days). This created the ‘care’ and ‘education’ split that continues in many forms to this day.
The paper charts the evolution of Commonwealth actions across areas such as planning & access, quality & regulation, affordability & funding, workforce and the preschool system.
A Brief History of Commonwealth Involvement in Early Education and Care informed the Final Report of the Royal Commission.