In November 2022, the Royal Commission called for submissions about 3-year-old preschool. This call closed on 28 February 2023.

More information about the submission process and guiding questions are below.

Your submission

These guiding questions draw upon the Terms of Reference (PDF, 132.9 KB) for the Royal Commission. Addressing these in your submission will help the Royal Commission to identify issues, trends and opportunities.

Your submission may also include case studies of innovation, best practice, and high quality of which the Commission should be aware.

Purpose and aims

  • What should every 3-year-old child in South Australia be entitled to in terms of early learning?
  • What should be the central aim of 3-year-old preschool? What are important but secondary aims?

Defining key terms

  • What does universal preschool look like to you / your organisation? Does a universal program mean the same program design and service is offered to everyone? How would you define universal?
  • (How) should 3-year-old preschool differ to 4-year-old preschool?
  • (How) should 3-year-old preschool differ to ECEC currently provided to 3-year-olds (e.g. in centre-based day care and family day care?)

Quality and innovation

  • What does high-quality 3-year-old early learning look like? What are the markers of optimal program delivery?
  • What does high-quality look like in terms of time spent in preschool?
  • (How) does quality differ for different cohorts of children?
  • Where is innovation happening in programming and service delivery? What does that look like?


In the context of the Shaping Our Future national ECEC workforce strategy and other recent announcements by Commonwealth and state governments:

  • What are the most important competencies for workers delivering 3-year-old preschool?
  • What are the highest value interventions to improve workforce supply in South Australia?
  • What else should South Australia do in addition to workforce supply initiatives already underway?
  • Are there innovative approaches to building workforce supply that the Commission should consider?

Delivery and administration 

  • What is needed to support 3-year-old preschool? (What would you/your organisation need to do to be able to deliver 3-year-old preschool?)
  • What are the strengths of the current SA government administrative arrangements for delivering 4-year-old preschool programs (e.g. funding arrangements, parent fees, choice of providers)? What are areas for improvement?
  • Who should be primarily responsible for paying for 3-year-old preschool? Who should share that responsibility?

Methodology for data collection and scenario modelling

As part of its work, the Royal Commission has engaged a consultant to build a detailed model of the ECEC sector in South Australia that will specify the implications (cost, workforce, infrastructure requirements etc) of different policy settings related to 3-year-old preschool.

To inform this model, the Royal Commission intends to access data held centrally by Commonwealth and State agencies, and supplement this with data requested from individual service providers where appropriate.

The outcomes will be published as part of the Interim Report released in April 2023.

Read our Call for submissions paper (PDF, 211.9 KB) for more details.

If you or your organisation have insight into questions of data collection and scenario modelling, you can respond to these optional questions as well.

  • How should demand for 3-year-old preschool be modelled? What assumptions should be made? What evidence could support these assumptions?
  • How should the conversion of existing vacancies (in government preschools and long-day care) into 3-year-old preschool places be modelled? What assumptions should be made (for example, about services’ willingness to operate at 100% capacity)?
  • What assumptions should be made about how many hours of service would be delivered in a single day (in government preschool and long day care)?
  • What inputs should be considered in the development of a costing model (in government preschool and long day care)?
  • Does the nature of the preschool program impact on facility costs?
  • How should key ‘tipping points’ for profitability for long day care providers be represented in the model (e.g. the proportion of under 2s to over 2s)?