Building quality preschools for our kids
Every child across regional NSW deserves access to a great preschool, no matter their postcode.
That is why last week I was thrilled to introduce the NSW Government’s $10 million Quality Learning Environments Program alongside an additional $5 Million for Capital Works.
The Quality Learning Environments Program is all about ensuring that children have positive experiences and outcomes in the years before school. Preschools can apply for funding for a range of ideas and initiatives. It could cover items like installing a shade cloth so children can play safely outside.
They might decide to install reverse cycle air-conditioning which is important for preschools in all types of climates throughout the state whether it be Berridale or Brewarrina. Preschool communities may also choose to create a kitchen garden for our budding young farmers to show them how certain foods can grow.
This is an opportunity for The Nationals to lend a hand to preschools to fast track projects that might have been on their to?do lists for a little while, projects they would have previously funded from fundraising activities or by finding space in budgets. I’m proud that we are able to provide this assistance and it has been well received by many preschools and families right across the state.
The $5 million Capital Works Grants fund is aimed at continuing to increase the number of preschool places throughout our regions. With three previous rounds of funding under this program, we have already delivered significant improvements to many regional preschools and mobile preschools, and now we will be able to deliver even more.
2018 is off to a cracking start for Early Childhood Education in regional NSW. Average daily fees have decreased by 25 per cent since the implementation of the NSW Government’s Start Strong program and the number of children attending 600 hours of early childhood education in NSW has also increased by a huge 40 per cent.
The Nationals are more committed to early childhood education than ever before, and the numbers don’t lie.
Our preschools in our communities are finally getting the attention they deserve after years of neglect under former city centric Labor governments.
As Minister for Early Childhood Education, I firmly believe every dollar spent on a country kids first years of education is a valuable investment and The Nationals will continue to ensure our littlest learners get the best start in life.
Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC
Minister for Early Childhood Education