$30m boost for early childhood education
It is such an honour to serve as the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education and since my appointment I have made it my priority to visit our communities to hear firsthand the issues they are facing.
I am determined to put local communities at the heart of decision-making to deliver better educational outcomes for young children and to be a strong advocate for Aboriginal people.
I would like to pay tribute to my Nationals' colleague Leslie Williams, who as Minister worked tirelessly for the early childhood education sector and was a true advocate for our aboriginal communities.
Since 2011, the NSW Government has invested vital funds to provide better early childhood education services and is delivering for our Aboriginal communities and I intend to continue building on that momentum.
We know the success of a child’s education on their last day of school is determined by their very first day of school.
And this week I was proud to announce more than 2400 long day care centres across the state will receive a share of a $30 million funding boost as part of the NSW Government’s $115 million Start Strong program.
Two thirds of NSW working families’ access long day care and this investment will improve education outcomes and the quality of long day care services in regional NSW.
The $30 million investment will be rolled out from next week for children aged four and above, with funding weighted accordingly for children meeting additional criteria – providing more support for those families who need it most.
Services can use funds to purchase resources, develop a new program based on the Early Years Learning Framework or support staff development.
This is mums and dads in communities in the Riverina, on the North Coast and the North West benefiting firsthand because The Nationals are committed to building a better future for our children in country NSW.
As a mum of a three-year-old, in Gunnedah, I know how important it is to have access to quality education at such an early age and I am proud The Nationals are backing our kids and backing the educators who work tirelessly to give our children in country NSW a bright future.
It doesn't matter whether you live in Parkes or Penrith - early education is the key to your future success and I am determined to ensure we make it easier for families in regional NSW to access these services.
It is also vital for me to work hand-in-hand with Aboriginal community leaders to truly deliver outcomes and to build on important reforms including Reparations for the Stolen Generations and preservation of Aboriginal languages.
The only way to deliver for our Aboriginal communities is to listen and to hear firsthand to ensure we deliver what they expect and deserve.
There is plenty of work still to do and it is really important to me that I meet with a range of communities and stakeholders – grassroots feedback is essential and will help deliver real outcomes for our regional communities.