$120 million extra for free preschool program to help parents
Families and young children in NSW will benefit from an extra year of free preschool with the NSW Government announcing funding for community and mobile preschools in 2021.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell to announce the $120 million commitment, which will help more than 44,000 three to five-year-olds attending community preschool.
Ms Berejiklian said the free preschool program has been supporting families since the beginning of the pandemic and this funding would provide certainty for parents into the future and help ease hip pocket pressure.
“Support for families and children has been a priority for this Government during the pandemic and I’m committed to see it continue while we recover,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Initially announced early in our COVID-19 response, the free preschool program has supported countless jobs, and kept children learning and engaged during some of their most important years.”
Mr Perrottet said the funding would provide up to 15 hours of free care per child each week and would allow many parents to continue working and supports them to divert family income into other essentials.
“This is a $120 million investment in our future, which will remove a layer of financial pressure for many families during this uncertain time. It will also help support more than 7,400 early childhood educators and teachers in their vital roles,” Mr Perrottet said.
“This could save families more than $2000 per-year per-child and will ease cost of living pressures and help balance work and family life.”
Ms Mitchell said even during the toughest times childrens’ education was the top priority.
“Early childhood education is so important, especially in those critical two years before school,” said Ms Mitchell.
“Families will have certainty moving into 2021, knowing that regardless of their situation their child will be able to continue with their preschool education.”
This funding will be made available to approximately 700 state-funded community preschools and 38 mobile preschool services that provide care for over 44,000 three to five year olds in the critical years before school.