In February, National Catholic education executive director Jacinta Collins attended the Australian Government’s National Early Years Summit at Parliament House in Canberra.

The summit brought together parents, community organisations and representatives from across government, non-government, academic and business sectors to discuss the development of the Commonwealth Early Years Strategy.

The summit covered key topics including the vision and priorities for the Early Years Strategy, as well as how we make sure the voices of children and families are at the centre of the strategy.

Jacinta said Catholic education recognised the importance of early learning with the sector ready and willing to expand the delivery of early childhood education in response to increasing need from families. 

“We know that quality early learning plays a key role in preparing children for a good start to school and look forward to working towards identifying areas of reform to ensure early childhood services can be located with schools to better support families and ensure a smooth transition to school.” 

Across Australia, the Catholic education sector operates Catholic preschools and early childhood centres, educating nearly 15,000 children nationally. 

The Early Years Strategy aims to create a new integrated, holistic, whole-of-government approach to ensure children aged five years and below have the best start in life, particularly in the critical early years of development.

The strategy will seek to support improved coordination between government programs, funding and frameworks impacting early childhood development. 

The government would like to hear from a diverse range of voices in the community through a public submission process, survey and roundtables.

The discussion paper is open for public submissions until 30 April 2023.

You can also share your priorities and experiences through a survey until 3 March 2023. To have your say, visit the website

Image courtesy of Catholic Education Northern Territory.