Early childhood education & care

The department, through the Early Childhood Education & Care Directorate, 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 Extra - Issue 29 now available

Issue 29 contains a number of articles including:

  • Community preschools outreach grants
  • Family Day Care fact sheets now available in community languages
  • 2017 rural and remote early childhood teaching scholarships - Applications close 13 May 2016
  • ACECQA National workshops
  • Recognising Indigenous culture - everyday
  • Making a complaint to ECECD
  • Invoices for annual fees
  • Are your child protection policies living documents?
  • Community preschool capital works grants program

EC Extra - all issues and how to subscribe

2016 August Bi-annual ECEC Preschool Census

The online portal for the Bi-annual Early Childhood Education and Care Preschool Census is now open.

Service Providers are asked to log onto the Early Childhood Contract Management System (ECCMS) to provide their information based on the Representative Fortnight:

1 August to 12 August 2016.

As part of the Census you will be asked to provide details of the sessions your preschool runs and the number of children enrolled in each session, this will help to improve the scope and quality of the data we collect.

Please submit all data by Sunday 28 August 2016.

A webinar has been recorded. This demonstrates how to add information regarding the sessions your preschool holds, and which children are enrolled in these.

You can register to view the webinar here:



If you experience data entry problems or have a general inquiry on completing the census, please contact the data collection helpline on 1300 951 381 between 9 am and 5 pm, or email the Department's Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation at ececcollection@det.nsw.edu.au.

If you have not logged onto ECCMS previously you will first be required to register for an AUSkey on the Commonwealth Government's Australian Business Register (ABR) website. We therefore ask that you check your access as soon as possible.

For funding or AUSkey related enquiries, please contact the Early Childhood Education and Care, Partnerships & Programs Team on 1300 755 426 or ecec.funding@det.nsw.edu.au.


Family Day Care Fact Sheets Now Available in Community Languages

Family Day Care approved providers and educators can now access a series of fact sheets in community languages provided by the Commonwealth Department of Education.  These facts sheets assist individuals to understand their responsibilities and obligations as a family day care provider and/or educator, how to comply with family assistance law and provide information on where to go for support or further information.

The eleven community languages include Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Dari, Dinka, French, Hazaragi, Nuer, Somali, Sudanese, and Swahili. These are now available from the Commonwealth Department of Education's website.

2017 Rural & Remote ECT Scholarships - Applications close 13 May 2016

Thirty scholarships worth up to $10,000 per scholar are available to help diploma qualified educators working in rural and remote services to upgrade to a Bachelor Degree leading to a four year trained early childhood teaching qualification.

It is anticipated that most recipients will commence their studies in the 2017 academic year. However, there may be a limited number of scholarship places available for scholars who wish to study later in the 2016 academic year.

Details of eligibility criteria and additional information can be found on the Rural & Remote ECT Scholarships page.  You can obtain an Application form here.

Capital Works Grants

On 20 November 2015 the Minister for Early Childhood Education, Leslie Williams MP, announced funding of $8 million over four years to create up to 500 new preschool places through a Capital Works Grants program.  

The Capital Works Grants program will provide grants funding for not-for-profit, community based preschool providers proposing to increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage.

For more information on the Capital Works Grants program visit the Grants program page.

$24 million for LDC preschool delivery under the 2016 Long Day Care National Partnerships Grants Program

On 11 March 2016, the Minister for Early Childhood Education, the Hon. Leslie Williams MP, announced that $23.6 million will be made available to long day care services to support the delivery of preschool programs for four and five-year-old children in the year before school.

The funding will be made available to services in 2016 through the Long Day Care National Partnerships Grants Program, part of an agreement between the NSW and the Commonwealth Governments to increase participation in preschool programs for four and five-year-old children in the year before school

The Preschool Funding Model one year on

2015 marks a year since the Preschool Funding Model (PFM) was introduced as a key plank in a series of reforms designed to achieve universal access to quality early childhood education.
The PFM One Year On report  highlights the positive impact of the new funding model including the demonstrated improvements in universal access to early childhood education in NSW, and how the community preschool sector and services are implementing the model.

Preschool Disability Support Program for 2016

The Department of Education and Northcott are streamlining and refining the application process for the Preschool Disability Support Program (PDSP) for 2016.

The application process will be clearer, simpler and more efficient. Applications will be through two funding rounds for 2016:

  • Main round applications will open on 12 October 2015 and close on 06 November 2015 and be made through the PDSP portal.
  • Second round applications will open on 25 April 2016 and close on 20 May 2016 through the PDSP portal.
  • For any child to be eligible for funding in 2016, an application must be submitted in either October 2015 or April 2016, regardless of whether they are currently receiving PDSP funding or not.

Advice to parents on childcare deposits

Parents considering paying a deposit to secure a place at a childcare centre or preschool should read the contract carefully.  NSW Fair Trading says grievances about education and childcare deposits have doubled from 2013 to 2014.

Mandatory reporting reminder

Providers need to ensure that all staff members are fully aware of their responsibilities as mandatory reporters.  If a staff member working in any type of service has reason to believe that a child is at risk of significant harm, this must be reported to the Child Protection Helpline on 133627 as soon as practicable.

Child protection training reminder

Providers have a legal requirement to ensure that the nominated supervisor of a service and any certified supervisor in day to day charge of a service has successfully completed a course in child protection that has been approved by NSW DEC.

National Quality Framework review

Feedback provided through the public consultation process into the 2014 review of the National Quality Framework was incorporated into the development of a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).  This RIS was released for consultation in September 2014.  This consultation period has now closed.  

Mobile Preschools

ECECD will be working closely with the Mobile Children's Services Association to assist mobile preschools, that meet the definition of a mobile preschool, move to ‘opt in' fixed term contracts in 2016.

Transition to School Statement

The Minister for Education, in 2014, announced the release of the NSW Transition to School Statement, a new tool designed to support children moving from early childhood education to formal schooling. Further information is available on the Transition to School website.

Anaphylaxis Guidelines

ECECD has published new Anaphylaxis Guidelines for Early Childhood Education and Care Services. 


Productivity Commission Inquiry into Childcare and Early Learning

The Productivity Commission released the draft report of its Inquiry into Childcare and Early Learning on 22 July 2014 and submitted its Inquiry report to the Commonwealth Government on 31 October 2014.  

Operational Support Program

The Operational Support Program is designed to help eligible community preschools and mobile services adjust to the Preschool Funding Model and to build their capacity as sustainable organisations.

National Regulations

A number of amendments to the National Regulations (the Education and Care Services National Amendment Regulations 2013) (Amendment Regulation) came into effect on 1 June 2014The amendments are primarily aimed at reducing the regulatory burden on providers and services.


This site uses Google Translate, a free language translation service, as an aid. Please note translation accuracy will vary across languages.


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.