Thousands of extra child care places are being funded by the State Government for the 1993 school year, which starts on Wednesday.
Children who turn five during the year will now qualify to attend outside school hours child care services.
The access of four year old children to developmental programs is also being expanded.
Family and Community Development Minister Eric Ripper said today the initiatives were further evidence of the Lawrence Government's commitment to providing a broad range of quality, affordable child care.
An extra 1,800 places for four-year-olds ( bringing the total to 4,200) would be provided this year in a $1.3 million initiative under the family centre supplementary program. This would represent 114 groups and was a $500,000 increase for this program.
Mr Ripper said the new places would be in addition to those provided in the 40 family centres to be operating by mid-year. The Government was committed to building another 24 family centres across the State, in an $8.5 million program over the next three years.
The expansion of Outside School Hours Care meant that children who turned five within the year could now be regarded as school-aged children and were eligible to attend the services. The change was in line with the introduction of optional full-time pre-primary education for five-year-old children.
"The Lawrence Government's commitment to child care is in stark contrast to the disorganised and confused position of the Opposition," Mr Ripper said.
"The Nationals favour only home-based child care, while the Liberals have a 1950s view of the family."