Start Strong

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring that all children in New South Wales can participate in 600 hours of quality preschool education in the year before school, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are.

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The value of 600 hours of quality early childhood education

Research shows that children who participate in a quality early childhood education program for at least 600 hours in the year before school are more likely to arrive at school equipped with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to engage in learning.

The benefits endure well beyond primary school. Higher levels of educational attainment, economic participation and family well being have all been linked to moderate levels of participation in early childhood education.

Making early childhood education more affordable

To ensure that affordability is not a barrier for families with young children, the NSW Government has allocated an additional $115 million in funding to support universal access to early childhood education.

The funding package includes:

  • $85 million for community preschools, targeted at increasing 600 hour enrolments and reducing fees.

  • $30 million to support all children in the year before school in long day care centres.

The extra funding, which adds to the $150 million that has already been allocated under the current Preschool Funding Model, is designed to significantly reduce preschool fees, making 600 hours of early childhood education more affordable for all families.

Fee reductions

Preschool providers will be required to pass on the bulk of the additional funding to families through fee reductions. Fees are expected to fall by up to 30 per cent.

However, each preschool sets its own fee levels, so parents should check with their preschool provider about fee levels for 2017.

Timeframe

The new funding will be tied to the provision of 600 hours of quality early childhood education.

Commencing on 1 January 2017, funding reforms will be introduced in stages so that preschools have time to prepare. The new funding model will be completely in place by 1 July 2017.

Further information and support

Info for Community Preschools

Start Strong FAQs (for Community Preschools and Long Day Care services)

Contact the Information and Enquiries team on:

1300 755 426

ecec.funding@det.nsw.edu.au

A package of business supports is also being developed to help services make the transition and will be delivered by peak organisations Community Child Care Co-operative and Community Connections Solutions Australia.

For information please contact:

Community Connections Solutions Australia on 1800 991 602

Community Child Care Co-operative on 1800 157 818 

Visit: Preschools NSW

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