Early childhood education & care

The department regulates the operation of early childhood education and care services for children from birth to school age. The department also provides some funding to education and care services.

Early Childhood Teacher doing art

Supporting Children with Additional Needs (SCAN)

The aim of the SCAN Program is to enable preschools to better include children with additional needs within the educational and physical provisions of the preschool.  In 2014, the program continues to operate through the same eight SCAN organisations as previously.


Intervention Support Program

The current arrangements for the Intervention Support Program have been retained in 2014. The program provides grants for programs designed to support learning and educational development opportunities for children with disability who are below school age and attending not-for-profit early childhood services.

Electronic payments reminder to services and providers

Early Childhood Education and Care Directorate now only accepts application fee payments by credit card or debit card, regardless of whether the application is for a new or existing provider or service. Any payments made by cheque or money order will not be processed by the Directorate. These changes are part of a whole-of-government initiative to move to electronic payments for regulatory services.

Services that are unsure about how to make the change to debit or credit card payments should contact their financial institution to discuss their options. A re-loadable prepaid card from Australia Post is another alternative services may wish to consider.  Read more about annual service fees

New Community Preschool Funding

The NSW Minister for Education has announced a new funding model for community preschools. 

Based on the recommendations of the Brennan Review, the new model puts more money into the sector than ever before and introduces a needs-based funding system so more children in the year before school access early childhood education. The new arrangements include:

  • Higher base funding rates
  • Additional equity funding
  • Service loadings for remote and outer regional services
  • Loadings for English language needs
  • Separate contracts for mobile services that recognise their unique service

The new Preschool Funding Model came into effect in January 2014.

Find out more about the Community Preschool Funding model here

National Regulations

A number of amendments to the National Regulations (the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2013) (Amendment Regulation) came in to effect on 1 January 2014.

The changes respond to issues that have been raised by services and are designed to streamline processes and reduce paperwork.

Download the amended regulations from the NSW Legislation website.

ECEC Preschool Census now closed

The Preschool Census and online portal are now closed for 2013.   Information on the 2014 Preschool Census will be available shortly.   

Data Collection Collection Hotline

1800 503 736


Community preschool capital funding

$5 million in capital funding has been allocated by the NSW Government for not-for-profit, community-based preschools wishing to expand their preschool program in selected regional or remote areas.

Stay on top of infectious diseases in your service

All early childhood staff have an important role to play in preventing the spread of illness and infectious disease. 

Download 'Staying Healthy - preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services' for recommendations on preventing infection, monitoring illness in children, personal hygiene and immunisation. 

Services should also check in regularly with the NSW Health media centre for updates on issues that may impact on young children.

New Working with children check

The NSW Office of the Children's Guardian administers the new Working with children check (WWCC). The check is a prerequisite for anyone in child-related work.

Adults living in homes where either a home based education and care service or a family day care service is being provided now have until 31 March 2014 to obtain a Working with Children Check.  See Issue Nine - February 2014 issue of EC Extra for more details. 



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The Early Childhood Extra looks at a range of issues relevant to the early childhood sector in NSW.  To view the current and previous issues of the newsletter or to subscribe, visit our Early Childhood Extra page.