Preschools in the ACT
In ACT public schools, children who turn four on or before 30 April can start preschool that year (15 hours per week). Children turning four after 30 April, can start preschool the following year. Early entry to preschool is available through the Education Directorate's early entry criteria for eligible families. For details about where you can enrol in preschool, and how to enrol in preschool, as well as early childhood education and care (ECEC) service providers, see the ACT Education Directorate starting preschool website.
Transition to School Resources
Council's annual Transition to School Parent Forum provides practical tips to help plan and prepare for school.
The September Forum recording is available here for the latest recording (35 min).
This comprehensive resources list is a handy reference guide including books about starting school to read with children. Plus, keep all your new and important school contacts together with this printable template.
Early Learning Committee
The ELC supports parents to have an active role in their child’s early education and school community. The committee meets once each school term (usually online). Primary school parent associations with an early learning parent representative and the parents/carers of children attending early learning are welcome to attend.
Meetings: October 14, Thursday 7.30-8.30pm Register here
For details of previous meetings see the ELC minute summaries.
Information for Parents and Carers
- FAQ about preschools and playschools in the ACT
- Enrolling in preschool or kindergarten
- All about Playschools
- See the Preschool section of our Help for Parents page
- Transition to School Guide to starting school/preschool.
When parents and families engage with school activities, children benefit and the school community is supported. Parent associations provide a range of options for families to get involved and engage with their child's education. They are also a forum for parents and families to explore the details of school life.
Council supports the association's early learning parent representative with resources, training, and advocacy. Talk to your school parent association for further information or contact Council. Many primary school P&C associations have an early learning parent representative on their committee.
Information for Parent Associations
Does your association have an Early Learning Parent Representative on the committee? Council encourages P&Cs to consider the role because early learning is a critical stage in education, and parents' information needs are unique. Engaging early with families helps P&Cs to build capacity for the future. These school-family connections are particularly important for parents with children in the early years.
To help recruit your P&C's EL parent representative, here's a customisable role description template and social media invitation to find your parent rep. Also, a valuable reference guide for parents and parent reps. Learn more about what other P&C's are doing here '...at our P&C'
- Role of the Preschool Parent Committee or parent representative
- Council resources for parent associations
- Handing over well
- PPA's becoming a subcommittee of their Primary P&C Association
- See Council's article for details of the ACT's early childhood strategy,
- The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) policy brief Building Children’s Potential: A Capability Investment Strategy
- History of the Canberra Preschool Society (CPS)