Early Years Strategy

The Australian Government is developing a whole-of-Commonwealth Early Years Strategy. It will set out the government’s vision to best support Australia’s children and their families in the early years.

On this page:


The Early Years Strategy:

  • recognises how critical the early years are for setting children up for lifelong success.
  • aims to deliver the best possible outcomes for all Australian children.

The Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP, and the Minister for Early Childhood Education and Youth, the Hon Dr Anne Aly MP, are leading the development of the strategy in collaboration with other responsible Ministers.

The strategy will:

  • be the framework for the next 10 years of Australian Government investment in the early years
  • complement and align with related early childhood reform initiatives, including the Productivity Commission inquiry.

The strategy will also set out goals to:

  • reduce program and funding silos across departments
  • better integrate and coordinate functions and activities across the Commonwealth
  • prioritise and support child-centred policy development
  • target investment in early years supports and services.

Draft strategy

The government has consulted widely to develop the draft strategy. This included:

  • the National Early Years Summit held on 17 February 2023 at Australian Parliament House,
  • bringing together over 100 delegates
  • a pulse survey which received over 2,240 responses a discussion paper which received over 350 public submissions
  • 39 roundtables held in person and online, with over 750 participants
  • consultation with over 100 children aged 3 to 5 years about what matters most to them.

The draft strategy was released on 7 December 2023. It is available to view and respond to on the Department of Social Services' (DSS) consultation website.

For further information on how the draft strategy was developed, including previous consultation activities, visit the DSS website.

Next steps

A survey is open on the DSS consultation website until 9 February 2024 for community feedback on the draft strategy. The strategy will be updated to reflect this feedback and finalised in the following months.