Early Childhood Extra - Budget Edition

Early Childhood Extra - Budget Edition

NSW Budget 2017-18

Message from the Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC Minister for Early Childhood Education

As Minister for Early Childhood Education, I am proud the NSW Government is continuing to back our kids by investing $435 million in the education of our youngest learners – a $47 million increase from last year.

The 2017-18 NSW Budget builds on the $1.6 billion this Government has invested in Early Childhood Education since 2011.

I recently announced Start Strong will continue to be funded through until 2021, with an additional $217 million invested over the next four years. This provides certainty for the sector and also reassurance for parents the positive benefits for their children will continue.

I am passionate about forward planning and ensuring all children across NSW have the opportunity to attend preschool in the year before school, if not earlier.

Research shows the social and economic returns from investment in early childhood education are significant and continue into adulthood.  We know disadvantaged children gain the most from early childhood education, with increasing benefits following higher levels of disadvantage. Through the Start Strong initiative, we are delivering two years of early childhood education for Aboriginal and disadvantaged children.

As both a mother of a three year old daughter who attends early childhood services and as the Minister, I am committed to providing continued support for community preschools, long day care centres and small preschools in rural and remote areas.

NSW has a diverse early childhood education sector and this budget ensures there is choice when it comes to quality services that meet the needs of children and their families.

Sarah Mitchell MLC

$435 million has been provided for early childhood education, representing a $47 million increase on last year’s budget

Building on the NSW Government’s initial commitment of $115 million to launch Start Strong in 2016, the budget extends Start Strong funding to 2021. This will provide certainty to services and make it easier for families to access affordable, quality preschool programs no matter where they live.

The NSW Government will continue to support the professional development of the early childhood education sector, with continued funding for sector development initiatives and scholarships.

Universal access to early childhood education continues to be a priority for the government, with $30m provided to support the engagement of children with a disability. We look forward to continuing to work with the sector to support all children to access early childhood education in the year before school.

Early Childhood Education Budget Highlights

  • An additional $217m for the Start Strong program extended to 2021, including supporting two years of an early childhood education for children from Aboriginal or disadvantaged families
  • $10m for the Start Strong capital works grant program to provide funding for community based providers to increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas where there's a demonstrated need
  • $30 million aimed at enhancing the participation of children with disability in early childhood education, including in regional and remote areas, aimed at improving their developmental and educational outcomes
  • Continued funding for the Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarship programs to support early childhood educators to upgrade their diploma qualification to a four year degree
  • Continued support through the Sector Development Program which provides training, support and resources to build sector capacity in alignment with Government priorities

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