Catholic schools across South Australia are offering mid-year Reception enrolment intake for students who turn five on or before October 31.
CESA’s Bruno Vieceli told ABC Radio Adelaide’s Afternoons program that there was a large body of research that lauded the benefit of “high quality early learning and care experiences for children in their first 1,000 days of life, and in the years prior to school”.
“In a changing world for families, we believed we needed to be flexible and responsive to what they are asking for,” he said.
Term one intake at Catholic schools is available for children who turn five years old on or before April 30. Children can begin in Term 3 if their fifth birthday is before October 31. Children who turn five after November 1 have to commence Reception the following year.
Some Catholic schools are already providing mid-year intake, which often results in students who start in term three spending 18 months in reception before progressing to year one.
“There will be some exceptions because it really does depend on what’s in the best interests for that child,” Mr Vieceli said.
"It is our intention for students starting halfway through the year to spend six terms in Reception. Every child will be considered from the perspective of what best meets their individual needs and, on occasion, this may result in children spending less than six terms in Reception."
“I want to consider the period prior to school, and the early years of school, as being one continuous experience for children,” Mr Vieceli said.
“It’s actually looking at that time as a period when the child’s developing and developing rapidly, as we know, and it’s about providing what’s right for that child and their development.”