Election

Labor pledges to help working families by changing school hours

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas released the terms of reference today for its intended Royal Commission into Education Services for SA children.

SA’s Labor Party today announced its plans to investigate overhauling school hours and after school care to assist working parents with the work/life juggle.

Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas released the terms of reference today for its intended Royal Commission into Education Services for SA children, should Labor win the election.

“For many, the traditional 9am–3pm school day just isn’t compatible with their modern working hours – particularly for dual-income households or single working parents,” said Mr Malinauskas.

“I am determined to modernise the school day and bring it into the 21st Century.

“This is a serious plan for the future – a once-in-a-generation overhaul of early childhood education in South Australia.”

The inquiry will address how all SA families should be able to access accessible, affordable, and quality out of school hours care at both preschool and primary levels.

This comes as parents increasingly require more flexible arrangements which allow for earlier drop-off and/or later pick-up times.

“It is clear school and preschool hours are out of step with modern working families,” said Shadow Minister for Education Blair Boyer.

“And, Out of School Hours Care services are not universally available, accessible or convenient.”

The Royal Commission will also inform South Australia on how the state can access universal quality preschool programs for three-year-olds, with a view to achieving this in 2026.

In addition, the inquiry will examine the extent to which South Australian families are supported in health, parenting and education and care services in the first 1000 days of a child’s life, and options for extending these services and support.

The SA Labor party is of the view that modernising school hours will also deliver broader economic benefits, improving productivity among working parents.

There are plenty of countries around the world that don’t stick to the tradition 9am–3pm school day. For example:

France – Four-day school week, 8:30am – 4:30pm

Brazil – Choice of a morning session (7am – 12pm) OR afternoon session (1pm – 6pm)

Switzerland – 8:30am – 4pm, but longer lunchbreaks!

South Korea – 8am – 4pm

Kenya – 8am – 4pm

This announcement comes on the heels of a frantic weekend of election promises from both SA’s Liberal and Labor parties.

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