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Preschool to Prep chronology

1876-1900 | 1901-1925 | 1926-1950 | 1951-1975 | 1976-2000 | 2001-2007

Preschool to Prep: a brief chronology of the development and provision of early childhood education in Queensland, with an emphasis on the participation of the Queensland Government.



  • Pilot of Class IV Schools Project - providing multi-age early childhood education classes to children in country areas too small for provision of a pre-school centre. These were known as Early Childhood Classes (EECs).


  • 600 teachers employed in pre-schools around the state.


  • Major revision of the pre-school correspondence program materials commenced.
  • 1978 review: teacher education in Queensland, the Bassett Report, indicated that following the rapid expansion of early childhood education since 1972, the demand for pre-school teachers would decline due to the falling birth-rate.


  • Pilot preschool programs commenced for students with disabilities.


  • The number of preschool centres increased to 533.
  • The Preschool Correspondence Unit was relocated to Spring Hill.
  • Preschools were supervised and coordinated by Regional Preschool Officers.
  • Open framework approaches to developing programs for early childhood education, was published by the Department.

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  • The Queensland Preschool Curriculum Project commenced. It was designed to improve observational powers of teachers in relation to areas of child development and implement appropriate programs based on these observations.
  • The Early Childhood Drama project was terminated.


  • First fully transportable preschool unit commenced operation at Chatswood Hills State Preschool.
  • KITE (Kids' Integrated Theatre Experiences) was developed to provide early childhood theatre experiences and to replace the Early Childhood Drama Project.


  • Preschool Curriculum Project publications launched. This and the subsequent Early Childhood Curriculum Project published the following titles, Language and the young child,1984; Make believe play and the young child, 1984; Diary of a preschool teacher,1985; Thinking and the young child,1987; Fine motor development and the young child,1991; Literacy and the young child,1991 and Movement and the young child,1991.


  • The discussion paper, Education 2000: Issues and options for the future of Education in Queensland was released. It contained a number of suggestions for improvement to the pre-compulsory education sector.
  • The Department assumed responsibility from the Department of Community Services for kindergartens in the Torres Strait Islands and in Aboriginal communities within the state.

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  • Division of Schools replaced in the three previous divisions of preschool, primary and secondary education.
  • State preschools recognised as an integral part of primary schools. Department's definition of 'early childhood' broadened to encompass preschool to year 3.


  • Amalgamation of the Preschool, Primary and Secondary Correspondence Schools into the School of Distance Education.


  • Full-day attendance policy introduced. The decision to change from the half-day model was the responsibility of individual school communities.


  • 581 State preschools, 142 EECs (Early Education Classes) and 32 special education developmental units in place.
  • 34,397 children enrolled at state preschools.


  • Queensland School Curriculum Council (QSCC) developed Preschool Curriculum Guidelines in collaboration with the Department, the Association of Independent Schools of Queensland, the Creche and Kindergarten Association of Queensland, the Office of Child Care and the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.


  • The Department commenced implementation of the Preschool Curriculum Guidelines.

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Logan, G & Clark, E 1984, State education in Queensland: a brief history,
Dept. of Education, Qld, Brisbane.

Department of Education and Training, 1860- Annual Report.

Fazldeen, AD 1997, Creche and Kindergarten Association of Queensland: A brief history.

Preschool Education: 25th Anniversary data compilation.

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Last reviewed
10 January 2013
Last updated
10 January 2013