Early Years Schooling

CEWA > Learning & Wellbeing > Learning Programs > Early Years Schooling

Catholic Education Western Australia provides families with genuine choices in education and care.

Our schools and care centres offer holistic, values-based programs and pastoral care for children from the early years to Year 12. We value and understand that children come from rich and diverse communities and recognise these are central to their lives and learning.

Our early childhood educators celebrate the family as the child’s first and most influential educator and recognise that warm and respectful relationships with familiar adults are fundamental to learning and development. Families are welcomed, respected and supported to work in partnership with schools and care settings.

Our early childhood programs, including long day care, three-year-old programs, playgroups and outside school hours’ care, are offered on many school sites and provide a supportive and nurturing environment. Early childhood educators design programs ‘to capture the integrated and complex learning and development of all children’. These experiences offer children opportunities to explore, discover, imagine and engage in purposeful and meaningful activities.

The experiences are based on the five learning outcomes, outlined in Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia:

  • Children have a strong sense of identity
  • Children are confident and involved learners
  • Children are connected with and contribute to their world
  • Children have a strong sense of wellbeing
  • Children are effective communicators.

The Early Years Learning Framework in Catholic schools and early years learning and care settings is implemented in conjunction with the Western Australian Curriculum.


3-Year-Old Program

The 3-Year-Old program, sometimes referred to as Pre-Kindy, is offered at many Catholic schools on a sessional basis for children who have already turned three. A Catholic 3-Year-Old program provides opportunities for children to learn and grow through planned and spontaneous play experiences based on the child’s strengths, interests and needs. Each child is supported to develop a positive self-image of themselves and others.


Catholic schools offer a minimum of 15 hours of kindergarten (three to four years old) per week in line with universal access requirements. A Catholic Kindergarten program provides opportunities for children to explore, imagine, investigate and engage with the joy and mystery of our created universe in a learning environment aimed at developing the whole child. Programs are play-based with experiences that support children to make sense of their world as they engage with others and the environment.


In Western Australia, Pre-Primary (four to five years old) is the first year that children are required to attend school on a full-time basis. A Catholic Pre-Primary program offers a rich learning environment that caters for children’s development across the physical, cognitive, language, social, emotional and spiritual domains. The program, based on the Western Australian Curriculum, is delivered in a play-based environment providing opportunities for children to engage in meaningful experiences for successful, creative and lifelong learning.

Aboriginal Families as First Educators

Catholic schools, value and acknowledge the rich and diverse culture of Aboriginal children and families. Partnerships are based on an understanding of expectations, values and attitudes and build on the strengths of each other’s knowledge.

The Aboriginal Families as First Educators (AFaFE) program recognises the importance of parents as their child’s first teacher and focuses on building the trust, skills and confidence parents need to develop and maintain a positive, supportive and ongoing relationship with the school.

The intended outcomes of the AFaFE program are:

  • build stronger early relationships between families, communities and schools
  • to support families to recognise the importance of early development, which leads to an increase in school readiness
  • to support Aboriginal educators with training and employment.

Out Side School Hours Care

This service provides care for children in our primary school setting. This program is opened to families before and after school and offers a friendly, warm and nurturing environment where children engage in learning experiences, based on their individual and/or group needs and interests.

Vacation Care Program

This programs offers a friendly, relaxed, warm, nurturing environment where children engage with learning experiences, based on individual or group areas of interest.  The program is developed in partnership with families and is focused on the children’s interests and developmental needs. The aim is to provide children with engaging activities, including excursions and incursions, during the holiday period.

Long Day Care

Catholic Education is proud to provide high quality play-based learning and care for children from birth to five years of age. The program recognises the importance of parents and focuses on building trusting relationship based on an understanding of expectations, values and attitudes. The aim is to provide, in partnership with parents, a warm, nurturing home-like environment-based on children’s developmental interests and needs.

Early learning further information

Early years care and learning in Catholic settings

Catholic Education provides a comprehensive education and care choice for families.

Early Learning Centres and OSCH Care Services

Outlining the requirements for the operation of CEWA care services.

Early Years Learning Framework

Belonging, Being and Becoming.

AFaFE Evaluation Report July 2018

Emerging outcomes and explanations.


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