Families will save $825 a year on average, as NSW becomes the first State in Australia to provide Government subsidies to all three year olds to attend community preschool.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell visited St Peters Preschool today to discuss the new policy with families and staff.
The reform was made possible thanks to an almost $200 million investment in the NSW Budget 2018, handed down on Tuesday.
“Yesterday’s Budget delivered the benefits of our strong financial management to families and individuals across the State and nothing demonstrates this more than extending preschool access to three year olds,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This will give parents more choices around sending their children to preschool while giving our children every support they need to be their best.”
This new policy will also be supported by an investment of $42.1 million in capital works funding to deliver an additional 4000 new community preschool places in growth areas.
Today’s announcement means all three year olds will now also have access to two days a week of subsidised preschool education.
Mr Perrottet said the Government was proud to be providing funding for this important reform.
“Looking around today at St Peters, we see our future doctors, teachers, lawyers and tradies,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Not only will this investment result in a better education for our children, it will also have longer term benefits such as increased likelihood of university attendance, higher lifetime earnings and better health outcomes.
“For me, this investment is a no-brainer.”
Ms Mitchell said the change would make a positive impact on children right across the State.
“I am so proud this Government continues to do the heavy lifting when it comes to the future of our children,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Under our recent reforms, average daily fees have dropped by 25 per cent and participation rates have risen by 40 per cent.”
Meg Mendham, who heads Community Connections Solutions Australia (CCSA) and who has more than 25 years of experience in the early childhood education and care sector, welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement.
“I strongly believe the NSW Government’s announcement to extend its preschool subsidy to three year olds will give our children the best start in their educational pathway,” Ms Mendham said.
CCSA is a non-profit, non-government early childhood education peak body.
For more information on the Start Strong program visit the Department of Education website.