Attending your service in 2023

Here’s what you need to know if your child is attending an early childhood education and care service this year.

Attending early childhood education is an exciting opportunity for your child to make friends, develop independence, learn new routines, and support a strong transition to school.

Read Daisy’s First Day and our Getting ready for preschool guide 2023 (PDF 5.79MB) to help you and your child prepare for their first day at their service.

As the NSW Regulatory Authority, the Department of Education is here to ensure children’s safety and the delivery of quality early education. If you have a concern about an early childhood education and care service, please contact us at 1800 619 113 or

Remember that children also learn through play at home, making parents and caregivers their first teachers. See our educational resources to use at home for ideas on how you can support children’s learning and development by creating opportunities for play in the home.

A nurse voices the benefits of early childhood education

- [Child] Early childhood education is a place where children grow to learn and learn to grow.

- Play is the basis for a child's future development, representational play, the imaginary play. These foundations set up that child for adult life.

- [Educator] and purple.

- [Child 2] Purple.

- Early education is crucial for these areas of development because it gives the children opportunity and builds the foundations that are needed for future success and health and learning outcomes. Now we have the research to show that a child's brain is 90% developed by the age of five. And in that time, the first 2000 days framework, there is so much development that has to go on. Early education has to be the key. These centres are gold for development because they do offer these opportunities for all areas of a child's development, fine motor skills, with drawing, colouring in and painting, for gross motor skills, for jumping and playing and dancing around, as well as their social and emotional skills.

- [Woman] How can we help Owen to get that to stand up all by itself?

- [Melissa] So they are learning to be with others, they are learning to work with others and in groups, they are learning to share, take turns, listen to directions, people giving them boundaries and these are really foundational for the future. So confidence and independence is a big skill for a child to transition to school with. And if they've had that exposure to these experiences in early childhood education, that will certainly help that transition into the school environment We work in partnership, so if a parent does have a concern about their child, that concern is taken seriously and the child and family health nurse will escalate. We've got questionnaires where we check their development in more detail and make referrals.

Early Years Commitment

You may have heard about some exciting changes coming to early childhood education and care in NSW following last year’s announcement of the Early Years Commitment.

With plans to introduce a new year of no cost preschool for all children in the year before school by 2030, boost support for children’s development, and make early childhood education and care more affordable and accessible, this commitment is our pathway to help all children in NSW have the best start to life.

Whether your child is returning to their early childhood education and care service in 2023, or attending a new service for the first time, here's what you need to know:

  • Start Strong preschool fee relief commences this year. Remember to complete a declaration form to nominate which service you would like to receive fee relief from.

  • If your family is in one of 25 eligible LGAs, you may be able to receive a children’s book delivered to your home each month through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

  • Child Care Subsidy rates will increase from July 2023.

  • From July, we will be piloting Universal Pre-Kindergarten in four locations across NSW. If your child’s service is based in Mount Druitt, Wagga Wagga, Kempsey-Nambucca, or Bourke-Cobar-Coonamble, talk to your service to see if you are eligible to participate.

  • This year, we are rolling out health and development checks in preschools state-wide to make sure every parent has access to important information about their child’s development.

To learn more, visit the Early Years Commitment website or contact us at with questions or feedback.

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