Hundreds of community preschools across NSW are opening their doors to the first year of subsidised three year olds this week, thanks to an historic investment from the NSW Government to ensure every child has access to two years of early childhood education in preparation for primary school.
NSW is the first state in Australia to subsidise all three-year-olds in community preschools, under an investment of almost $200 million, which is only possible due to the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals & Nationals.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Doonside Kindergarten today to welcome the new starters, and said she looked forward to seeing the impact this will have on both children and families.
“Not only does this investment mean better educational opportunities for children right across the State, it also means that on average, families will save $825 on preschool fees this year alone,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I am proud that as a Government – because of our strong economic management – we can do more to ease cost of living pressures for parents and improve educational outcomes for our children.”
Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said access to two years of preschool education provides benefits to both children and the community.
“We know that two years of quality early childhood education leads to better performance throughout primary and high school, as well as better university and TAFE attendance, and better outcomes post-tertiary education,” Ms Mitchell said.
Since the Start Strong program was introduced in 2016, which subsidised funding for one year of preschool to begin with, attendance figures have overwhelmingly improved and daily fees have dropped.
“Participation rates have increased by more than 40 per cent for children enrolled for 600 hours, and average daily fees decreased by 25 per cent,” Ms Berejiklian said.
For more information on Start Strong, visit the Department of Education website.