Affordable preschool for all NSW families

NSW budget set to ease cost of living pressures and ensure more children receive high quality early education

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Families across NSW are set to save thousands of dollars on their preschool costs thanks to more than $1.4 billion over four years in the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the program will ease cost of living pressures for families and ensure more children receive high quality early education, which is critical for a smooth transition to school and better educational outcomes for their future.

“Preschool is where the building blocks for lifelong success are established so it is vital that quality early childhood education is more accessible for families in NSW, no matter what their circumstances or where they live,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We’re committed to ensuring families across the state have a brighter future and less pressure on the hip pocket.”

From 1 January 2023, all NSW families will be eligible for:

  • up to $4,000 per year in fee relief for 3, 4 and 5-year-olds attending a community or mobile preschool
  • up to $2,000 per year in fee relief for 4 and 5-year-olds attending preschool in a long day care setting and
  • the equivalent of 5 days a fortnight of affordable preschool fee relief for all children in Department of Education preschools.

The NSW Government will also invest $64.1 million for a two-year pilot to support more 3-year-olds attending preschool in long day care services.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the evidence shows clearly the positive impact quality preschool can have on a child’s life outcomes and on the economy.

"Every $1 invested in early childhood education delivers a $2 boost to the NSW economy – it is a great investment for any Treasurer,” Mr Kean said.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said that one of the biggest impacts we can have on educational outcomes at school is to improve early childhood education.

“A significant body of research shows that children who participate in quality preschool programs have improved lifelong educational, social and economic outcomes,” Ms Mitchell said.

“That’s why I’m so delighted to be continuing our support for community and mobile preschools. Families using these services are not eligible for the Child Care Subsidy, so NSW’s commitment to long-term funding relief is significant and genuinely needed.

“We are also extending support to NSW families whose children attend preschool in a long day care setting, because at the end of the day what’s important is our littlest learners having access to great quality preschool programs.”

The current Start Strong Free Pre-school Program is already providing $150 million in fee relief for children enrolled in community and mobile preschools across NSW in 2022.

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