Catholic Education, the importance of the early years

Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) views early learning as the very important first step in a child’s educational pathway. Through a commitment to educational excellence, Catholic schools provide quality learning in a Catholic context – from the early years through to year 12 – instilling values that will last well beyond the schooling experience.


Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) views early learning as the very important first step in a child’s educational pathway.

Throughout their early years, a child’s brain is essentially being built—making the most connections among its neurons before your child even turns 5. Quality relationships and learning experiences have a huge impact during this critical stage of development and growth in our children.


Research has shown that children who receive a quality early childhood education have improved learning outcomes, not only once they begin school but into adulthood. This is because early childhood education provides a foundation for learning
throughout a person’s lifetime.

Within the Catholic education setting, not only is the inestimable value of every child recognised and valued, but so is the responsibility of adults to protect and nurture each child along the way.


Catholic Education SA has multiple entry points for early learning including:

  • Preschools
  • Playgroups
  • Early Learning Centres offering the additional flexibility of long day care

All early learning sites are co-located within a Catholic school, enabling access to shared school resources and integrated learning experiences to support children’s transition to school. Our preschool programs, just like those at the Department of Education preschools, provide 15 hours of learning per week during school terms meaning you can get the same program (and more) offered in a government preschool.

Alive Catholic Early Learning Centres, which are part of the Catholic education network, are also co-located with Catholic schools and offer a learning rich environment within a long day care setting. Established in 2019, Alive has three sites with additional centres opening within the next five years.

Both Alive and CESA provide children with a quality education which actively supports families, inspires educators, and ensures improved outcomes for all children from 6 months.

As an inclusive community, Catholic education is open and welcoming to all families. Enquiries are welcome throughout the year with Reception intakes within schools occurring at both the beginning of the year (Term 1) and midyear (Term 3).

CESA and Alive work in partnership to provide high-quality early learning as the first step in a child’s educational pathway within Catholic education.

To find your closest Catholic school with Preschool, Early Learning or Playgroup services, please see the School Directory on the CESA website:

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