Affordable Preschool

Fee relief for all families with children in preschool

Starting in 2023, the NSW Government is making a landmark investment of $1.3 billion over 4 years to provide fee-relief for families with children in preschool.

Funding for 3-year-old preschool in long day care will also be introduced for the first time. We are committing an additional $64.1 million over 2 years to trial funding support to long day care services to enable more 3-year-old children to participate in a preschool program.

These investments are in addition to the $840 million in funding over 4 years to deliver the Preschool Reform Agreement’s goals of increasing preschool access attendance and quality in the year before school. The Preschool Reform Agreement and the Affordable Preschool initiative will be delivered through Start Strong.

What this means for families

3-5 year old children in community, mobile and public preschools

We will continue the existing fee relief for all children in a community, mobile or Department of Education preschool beyond 2022.

This means families will save up to $4,220 a year for 3-5 year old children in community and mobile preschools.

Families will be provided the equivalent of 5 days per fortnight of affordable preschool for all children in Department of Education preschools.

The program will provide community and mobile preschools and public preschools with sustainable long-term funding to deliver 600 hours of low, or no cost, preschool to eligible children. This program will provide families with funding certainty over time, and will replace the Start Strong Free Preschool funding, which will cease at the end of 2022.

4 and 5 year old preschoolers in long day care

We are introducing preschool fee relief for 4 and 5 year old children in long day care.

This means families will save up to $2,110 a year for 4-5 year-old children in eligible preschool programs in long day care.

NSW will work with the Australian Government to ensure that this fee relief will be in addition to Child Care Subsidy payments.

Affordable Preschool will be delivered, together with the Preschool Reform Agreement, through Start Strong.

3 year old preschoolers in long day care

NSW was the first state to invest in comprehensive and ongoing 3-year-old preschool funding for community preschools.

With this new funding, we are investing in a 2 year trial of funding support to long day care services to enable more 3-year-old children to participate in a preschool program.

How fee relief will work with the Child Care Subsidy

The different level of payment per child in long day care services recognises that most families in long day care services are eligible to receive the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

The CCS does not apply to community and mobile preschools or Department of Education preschools.

Under the Preschool Reform Agreement, long day care services will also see an increase in funding for preschool delivery from the NSW and Australian Governments from 2023. This will enable these services to continue to improve the quality of their preschool program.

Ensuring savings are passed on to families

We are confident services are keen to do the right thing to help families.

Services will need to show savings to families on their bill and there will be strong audit and compliance processes requiring services to demonstrate funding has been passed on to families in the form of relief.

The department will provide services with more detail on how this process will work, as well as information on all other relevant requirements, prior to the commencement of the program in 2023.

Parents who do not receive the full fee-relief to offset gap fees will be encouraged to hold services accountable and report breaches to the department.

Can families get fee relief from more than one preschool service

No, you can only access fee relief from one eligible service at any given time.

An eligible service may include a community preschool or long day care service.

All parents or caregivers are required to complete a declaration form that nominates which service you are choosing to receive your fee relief from. Your service will assist with this process.


More information

For all the latest updates from Early Childhood Education, you can follow us on Facebook.

To provide feedback or ask us a question about the Early Years Commitment please contact:

Early Years Commitment team

Return to top of page Back to top