Early Childhood Extra Budget Edition

Early Childhood Extra Budget Edition

NSW Budget 2018-19

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

As Minister for Early Childhood Education I am extremely proud and delighted to announce NSW will be the first state in Australia to provide universal access to preschool for all three-year-olds, with an extension to the historic Start Strong program.

In the 2018/19 NSW budget, $197.8 million has been allocated to extend Start Strong over four years, which includes funding to support three-year-olds in community preschools from 2019, ensuring universal access to two years of early childhood education

This unprecedented funding will bring NSW in line with international policy and the consensus that participation in two years of high quality early childhood education delivers greater benefits than one year alone.

This policy builds on the achievements of Start Strong in 2017, which includes a 25 per cent decrease in daily fees for all children in community preschools, a 41 per cent decrease in fees for Aboriginal and low income families and an increase in 600 hour participation for children enrolled in the year before school.

The 2018/19 budget announcement means improved access and participation for three-year-olds in community preschool, and lower fees improving affordability for families. In addition, it will ensure affordable access to quality early childhood education is maintained as the population grows and as the numbers of children are increasing.

As a mother with two young children who attend early childhood services, I understand the importance of this initiative in delivering support for families, especially in rural and remote areas.

Yours sincerely
Sarah Mitchell MLC


Budget Summary

The NSW government has allocated $197.8 million over four years to extend its record investment under  the Start Strong program.

The investment includes three key elements:

  • Extending funding to all three-year olds in community preschools from 2019, to ensure universal access to two years of early childhood education.
  • $42.1 million in extra capital works grants over four years to support the creation of 4,800 new community preschool places in growth areas.
  • Continuing Start Strong funding for preschool education in community preschools and long day care services, for children in the year before school and equity three-year-olds. From 2019, the Start Strong program will be funded in line with demand and population growth.

Other key initiatives of the budget include:

  • The implementation of the Start Strong Pathways program which targets the early learning needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable children too young for preschool and supports pathways into Early Childhood Education.
  • Continued funding for the Rural and Remote Early Childhood Teaching Scholarship programs that help early childhood educators in preschools and long day care services upgrade their diploma qualifications to a four-year degree.
  • Ongoing support for the Sector Development program which provides training, support and resources to build sector capacity in alignment with government priorities.
  • Continued funding to enhance participation and educational outcomes in early childhood education for children with additional needs.

More Information on the 2018-19 NSW Budget:

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