Start Strong for Long Day Care (LDC) is designed to improve affordability for families and support children’s access and participation in at least 600 hours per year of quality preschool.

Start Strong for long day care 2024

For the first time, there will be $500 per child of fee relief for 3 year old children attending eligible preschool programs in long day care.

This builds on existing fee relief delivered through Start Strong of up to $2,110 per child for 4 and 5 year olds attending eligible preschool programs in long day care. More details will be released shortly.

Start Strong for long day care 2023

In 2023, more families will have access to fee-relief for preschool-aged children through the expanded Start Strong program.

This funding is part of an increase in investment to Long Day Care services that will directly support quality preschool delivery across NSW.

Under Start Strong, long day care services and Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) will receive additional funding to support children aged 4 and above.

Long day care services which are listed on the Australian Government's Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) and regulated under the National Quality Framework are eligible to receive Start Strong LDC funding.

Further information

For further information visit the Start Strong for Long Day Care 2023 program guidelines webpage.

Answers to questions raised at the recent sector webinar are available on the Start Strong FAQs 2023 webpage.

Applications cannot be submitted for this program. The department will conduct relevant checks to identify and confirm the eligibility of services. All eligible Approved Providers will receive communication from the department.

For any new services that have commenced operating after May 2022, an eligibility process will be determined to access program funding. More information will be provided once available.

Families must complete a declaration form to access fee relief. This form will help the family inform your service whether they would like to receive fee relief from you and provides consent for their child’s data to be shared as outlined in the privacy note.

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 your service operates 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.

Services will be required to provide data to the NSW government about children who are accessing fee relief. A technical specification document outlining these requirements has been shared with third-party-software providers.

Preschool funding includes funding for a 2 year trial for long day care services providing preschool programs to 3 year old children.

Start Strong for Long Day Care 3 year old trial (3 year old trial) supports services to improve the quality of preschool programs for 3 year old children.

Services that are eligible for Start Strong for Long Day Care will also receive funding for eligible 3 year old children attending preschool programs. The funding is to be used by services to:

  • invest in the quality of the service through staff development, preschool program development and educational resources that support the early learning needs of 3 year old children.
  • reach out to the local community to offer and promote quality preschool programs for 3 year old children.
  • reduce non-fee related barriers that children and families face when accessing 3 year old preschool programs.

Visit Start Strong for Long Day Care 2023 program guidelines – appendix 1 for more information.

Program guidelines

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.

Contact information

Early Childhood Education - Information and Enquiries

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