Historic investment to make preschool cheaper for families

The NSW Government has announced $430 million in early education fee relief for families.

A young boy playing with toys. A young boy playing with toys.

The NSW Government is working to ensure every child in NSW has access to an affordable, quality preschool education, with up to 200,000 families across the state to benefit from the largest ever investment in early education fee relief.

$430 million has been allocated to provide fee relief for families of three, four and five-year-olds across NSW, an investment to ease the cost-of-living pressures facing families.

This funding has already benefited hundreds of thousands of families across the state, including:

  • Up to $4220 a year for three- to five-year-olds attending eligible community and mobile preschools
  • Up to $2110 a year for children aged four and above attending eligible preschool programs in long day care services. This can be received on top of Australian Government Child Care Subsidy payment
  • Up to $500 a year for three-year-olds attending eligible preschool programs in long day care services, on top of their Child Care Subsidy payment

Since the NSW Government introduced up to $500 a year fee relief for three-year-olds, more than 62,000 families, or up to 88 per cent of eligible children, have accessed the initiative.

Early education is vital for a child’s development, supporting the improvement of their language, social and emotional skills, and future transition into kindergarten. Research also shows that access to early education for children supports women’s economic participation.

To meet increasing demand for fee relief in a cost-of-living crisis, the NSW Government has increased the funding to existing programs, and expanded eligibility to three-year-olds, to ensure every child has the opportunity to access quality early education.

To streamline families’ access to fee relief and other important supports for children’s health and development in the first five years of life, the NSW Government launched the Brighter Beginnings Parent and Carer information Hub in February. Over 200,000 families have already accessed this resource.

The former government did not plan for growing demand in the early childhood space, failing to build a single new public preschool over 12 years, and presiding over a sector that saw the number of preschools shrink during their time in government.

The NSW Government is prioritising quality education in the early years of a child’s life, with $1.82 billion invested in early education and care as part of the 2024-25 NSW Budget.

On top of fee relief, this funding will support the NSW Government’s commitment to build 100 new public preschools by 2027, the largest expansion of public preschools in the state’s history.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

“Attending preschool is vital for the educational outcomes of our children, setting in place the building blocks for success later in life.

“It is critically important, particularly during a cost-of-living crisis, that we ensure all parents are able to access high-quality affordable preschool for their children.”

  • Ministerial media releases
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