ACT Labor has promised to trial free breakfast and lunch at five public schools while recruiting a new team of youth and social workers if it wins the October election.
Schools most in need would be prioritised in the trial, which is expected to cost about $700,000.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said his party wanted all children to have the best possible access to learning.
“It is no surprise that the evidence shows that kids learn better on a full stomach, and this commitment will build on the great community run breakfast clubs already providing meals in some schools,” he said.
Education Minister Yvette Berry said Labor would hire the equivalent of 25 youth and social workers by the end of the next term of government at a cost of over $7.4 million.
“These new youth workers will assist students with planning for their individual needs, goals and strategies while at school
“Social workers will complement this by working with a student and their family to provide support, advocacy and mediation aimed at improving student engagement,” she said.
“Schools will be key to supporting children as our community navigates the impacts of COVID-19. Right now, governments need to be prioritising wellbeing supports in schools, and these commitments demonstrate that ACT Labor has the right plan to support our city through the coming years.”
Labor has also promised to conduct feasibility work on renewal of Canberra’s northside specialist schools for children with disabilities.
It would also implement a gender equality initiative, continue the safe and inclusive schools initiative and provide funding towards embedding local Aboriginal language and culture into the public school system.