More affordable early childhood education
The NSW Government last week announced an additional $115 million in funding to deliver the largest preschool fee reduction in the state’s history.
It was great to be able to join with our Nationals candidate for Orange, Scott Barrett, and Minister for Early Childhood Education, Leslie Williams on Friday to talk about how this new funding will help to make preschool more affordable, especially in regional areas.
We know that quality early childhood education provides both educational and social benefits to children that lasts throughout their schooling. That’s why we are committed to supporting families to ensure all children can attend preschool for 600 hours in the year before they attend school.
With at least 75 per cent of the increased funding guaranteed to be passed on to families through lower fees, this new funding will make preschool education more affordable.
Critically, there is a safety net for regional preschools which guarantees funding for smaller preschools, and additional targeted funding to improve access for children from Aboriginal and disadvantaged families.
In smaller communities, preschools cannot rely on a consistent number of children being enrolled from year to year. This is a challenge that as Nationals we readily recognise. Our new safety net will provide funding equivalent to 20 children – $132,000 for each preschool – for smaller services in regional and remote locations.
As well as providing a safety net for small regional preschools, this funding will also support children from Aboriginal and low-income families by removing almost all preschool fees and delivering extra funding for these children when they are enrolled in long-day care in the year before attending school.