Start Strong for Community Preschools provides funding for the provision of preschool education delivered for the two years before school to children enrolled in community preschools in NSW. This funding is designed to significantly reduce preschool fees, making 600 hours of early childhood education more affordable for families.
Application and funding information
Information flyer: Fee Relief in Community and Mobile Preschools (PDF 253KB)
Accessing fee relief
Families must complete a declaration form to access fee relief. This form will help families inform your service whether they would like to receive fee relief from your service.
Families will need to complete a form for each service their child is attending. Declaration forms should be completed prior to children attending your service in 2023. This will ensure fee relief is provided to families from the first week their child attends your service in 2023.
To assist services to communicate the declaration form to families, a template letter that services can download and place on their letterhead is available. This letter explains the process to access fee relief and how and why the declaration form must be filled out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions raised at the recent sector webinar are available on the Start Strong FAQs 2023 webpage.
Start Strong sector consultation summary report
Start Strong Sector Consultation Summary Report: Community Preschool Services - September 2022 (PDF 97KB)
Funding planning tool
Funding planning tool
A Start Strong for Community Preschools Planning Tool (XLSX 135KB) (formerly known as the funding calculator) is available to assist community preschool services to estimate their Start Strong funding for the 2022-23 financial year.
Services can use the information contained in their August 2022 Preschool Census Summary Report to estimate their funding.
The funding planning tool runs in Microsoft Excel 2010 and later. Users with earlier versions of Microsoft Excel may need to update Microsoft Office to avoid compatibility issues.
Please note: the amounts generated by the calculator are an estimate only and not a guarantee of funding.
Applying for funding
Applying for Start Strong for Community Preschools funding
Approved Providers who are interested in applying for funding through Start Strong for Community Preschools should write to the department via the contact details below.
Interested organisations will need to demonstrate their eligibility for funding, analysis of local need and demand, proposed number of preschool places to be created and capability to deliver on the objectives and outcomes of Start Strong, including affordability for families.
While the department recognises that fee decisions are at the discretion of services, the department will consider affordability for families when reviewing applications for Start Strong funding. As such, new services are encouraged to ensure that fee structures do not impact negatively on preschool participation in their community.
The department seeks to finalise applications in a timely manner, and the process may take between 8 to 12 weeks. The length of time can depend on various factors, including the completeness and accuracy of information provided to the department which is used for funding calculation and assessment purposes.
Finding an early childhood education and care provider
Visit our Choosing a quality service page to help find early childhood education and care providers closest to your home or work.
You should contact services directly for information on their funding arrangements and enrolment availability. You can contact providers using the details in the search results.
Early Childhood Education - Information and Enquiries
- 1800 619 113