Start Strong brings record numbers to preschools
Just like many families across NSW, I know the importance of affordability and accessibility when it comes to my children’s education in the years before school.
With two daughters at home – both of whom will attend preschool and day care services – I know that early childhood education is highly beneficial to children in the formative years before school; not just educationally, but socially and cognitively as well.
That is why I am proud that in January this year, it was announced that more children than ever in NSW are participating in 600 hours of preschool, thanks to the NSW Government’s Start Strong Program.
Results from the 2017-18 Preschool Census show that not only have average daily fees reduced by 25 per cent but the number of children in NSW undertaking 600 hours of preschool each year has increased by more than 40 per cent.
These results are the best in the state’s history.
This is great news for families right across NSW, with early childhood education becoming more accessible and more affordable than ever before after years of neglect from former Labor governments.
The Start Strong reforms were introduced in late 2016 to ensure more children had access to 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before school.
Under Start Strong, community preschools must use at least 75 per cent of the funding increase to reduce fees for eligible children, with priority given to children from Aboriginal and low-income families.
It is a no-brainer, in my books, to invest in the future of our children.
The state’s next farmers, teachers, doctors and lawyers are being shaped in our early childhood education services as we speak, which is why our children deserve the best start to their educational journeys as possible.
Minister for Early Childhood Education