Early Years Commitment 2023

What's in store for 2023?

The Early Years Commitment will continue to transform early childhood education and care in 2023.

We want to hear from you about how to make the Early Years Commitment as successful as possible for children, families and services across NSW. We will be asking for your input on programs at various times in 2023, so keep an eye out. You can also email questions and feedback to EarlyYearsCommitment@det.nsw.edu.au at any time.

Start Strong preschool fee relief

From this year, families with 3–5-year-old children in preschool will receive fee relief through the Start Strong program. Families will need to complete a consent form before they can receive fee relief for their child.

In addition to this relief, from July 2023, most families using early childhood education services will receive more of the Child Care Subsidy. Services are encouraged to share information about Start Strong with their families. You can find a dedicated Start Strong for families page on our website.

Health and development checks

Through the Brighter Beginnings initiative, crucial health and development checks will be brought into preschools across the state. The checks will assess hearing, vision, physical and cognitive development, social and emotional development and communication skills, and will give all parents access to important information about their child’s development.

Trials are currently underway and the program will be rolling out in preschool settings state-wide in 2023. Expect to see more information in the coming months.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten

This year we are kickstarting the journey towards Universal Pre-Kindergarten, with a series of pilots to be run in select locations around NSW. From July, approved services based in Mount Druitt, Wagga Wagga, Kempsey-Nambucca, and Bourke-Cobar-Coonamble will work with us to trial key features of the program.

Through consultation with the services, we are designing a Universal Pre-Kindergarten model that meets the diverse needs of children in the pilot communities. We will continue to work closely with services to determine locations and approaches for pilots in the future.


The Early Years Commitment recognises the dedication of the workforce to ensure every child gets the best start in life.

In addition to the existing fee-free pathways for early learning Certificate III and Diploma qualifications, the first round of VET scholarships for early childhood educators will be awarded in early 2023. The department is also working in partnership with universities, RTOs and employers to develop a streamlined higher education study pathway, which will be rolling out later in 2023.

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