More families will have access to preschool thanks to a new round of funding creating additional places in preschools for children on waitlists.

The NSW Nationals Government are continuing their commitment to increase access to preschool for communities across the State with another round of Start Strong Capital Works Grants for community preschools.

NSW Nationals Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said preschool was incredibly important to a child’s development and their performance later in their schooling.

“Preschool is so vital to give our littlest learners their best start, we are helping to meet the growing demand for more places in preschools with these grants, and we’re also supporting jobs in the construction industry during this time of economic recovery,” Ms Cooke said.

Eligible not-for-profit organisations can apply for funding to build, renovate or extend their facilities to deliver a community preschool, or purchase a vehicle for a mobile preschool to cater for increasing enrolments.

The NSW Nationals in Government have committed $10 million in funding as part of the Start Strong Capital Works Grants program for 2020. This is an increase on the $8.3 million allocated in 2019.

Grant applications from not-for-profit community preschools and mobile preschools operating in areas of the state where there is a demonstrated shortage of places will be prioritised.

“This funding will ensure even more children in NSW have access to 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the year before school, giving them the social, cognitive and emotional skills to transition to school as well as benefiting them in the longer term,” Ms Cooke said.

Grants are available in five categories, including: construction of a new centre based community preschool facility, extending an existing centre based community preschool facility, renovating existing or new premises for a centre based preschool, purchase of replacement vehicles for existing mobile preschools, and responding to crisis situations.

Applications can be submitted online from now until August 23. For more information, visit the Department of Education website.