NSW will be the first state in Australia to provide access for all children to attend two years of preschool, saving families an average of $825 a year and boosting access to early childhood education.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell today announced an almost $200 million investment in the NSW Budget 2018 to extend NSW Government subsidies to all three-year-olds who are enrolled in community preschools from January 1, 2019.
Ms Berejiklian said this new policy would ease cost of living pressures for families while boosting access to early childhood education.
“We know access to early childhood education is so important in preparing our children for school and this announcement ensures that cost is not a barrier for parents when considering a preschool option,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“This investment will not only ease cost of living pressures for families, it will also ensure our children are given every opportunity to be their best by boosting access to crucial preschool education.”
Mr Perrottet said universal access to two years of preschool education will provide major benefits to children and the community, with particular benefits for disadvantaged and middle income families.
“Benefits from two years of quality early childhood education can include stronger student performance in NAPLAN and PISA, as well as longer term benefits such as increased likelihood of university attendance, higher lifetime earnings and better health outcomes,” Mr Perrottet said.
“I am proud the NSW Government is leading the nation when it comes to ensuring all children have access to these powerful resources.”
Ms Mitchell said she looks forward to seeing children across the state reap the benefits of this new investment.
“The NSW Government’s Start Strong program was introduced in 2016 and has already had a huge impact for children in the year before school, with a reduction in average daily fees by 25 per cent and an increase in enrolments across NSW by 40 per cent,” she said.
This new policy will also be supported by an investment of $42.1m in capital works funding to deliver an additional 4800 new community preschool places in growth areas.
For more information on the Start Strong program visit the Department of Education website.