NSW Budget: $217 million for preschool fee relief
The NSW Budget is backing our youngest learners and making early childhood education more affordable for families with an additional $217 million for the successful Start Strong program.
To ensure affordability is not a barrier for families, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the investment in the 2017-18 Budget extends Start Strong to 2021.
“This is an unprecedented investment in early childhood education by the NSW Government and delivers on our commitment to reinvest our economic success into supporting families,” Mr Perrottet said.
“My eye is firmly on the future in this Budget and with this additional funding, community preschools and long day care services will continue to be funded through Start Strong to 2021.
“Every single preschool across NSW will benefit from this ongoing funding – which means this Government continues to back our kids and their families.”
Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said we know the success of a child’s education on their last day of school is determined by their very first day of school.
“This investment builds on the NSW Government’s commitment of $115 million to make it easier for families to access affordable, quality preschool programs no matter where they live,” Mrs Mitchell said.
“Start Strong links needs-based funding to 600 hours of enrolment in quality education in the year before school to ensure more kids participate because we know how important it is.
“To ensure this increase in funding has a real impact upon service affordability; community preschool services must pass on at least 75 per cent of the increased funding to parents.
“NSW has a diverse early childhood education sector, and this Government is ensuring there is choice when it comes to quality services that meets individual needs.”
Since the launch of Start Strong in January this year, more than half of all community preschools in NSW have changed their business model in response to the new funding program.