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NSW surging ahead: more children than ever before attending early childhood education

The Early Childhood Education report card continues to improve under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government, with data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the proportion of children attending early childhood education is higher than ever before.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Preschool Education Australia report shows that the proportion of four and five-year-old children enrolled in 600 hours of all forms of early childhood education in NSW has increased to 94.1 per cent in 2017. This is a significant increase from 85.1 per cent in 2016 and 76.9 per cent in 2015.

NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said these figures are consistent with the NSW Preschool Census results announced recently.

“The NSW Government is committed to ensuring all children in NSW have access to quality early childhood education, and these numbers don’t lie,” Ms Mitchell said.

“These results demonstrate the success of the NSW Government’s Start Strong program, which focuses on reducing fees, improving quality and ensuring more children are enrolled for 600 hours in the year before school.”

The $115 million Start Strong program was extended to 2021 with a further $217 million in funding over four years announced in the 2017-18 NSW budget.

Ms Mitchell also said the Start Strong funding was targeting children who need it the most, particularly Aboriginal children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“The Preschool Education Australia report also shows a 13.8 percent increase in the proportion of Aboriginal children and a 10.1 percent increase in the proportion of disadvantaged children enrolled for 600 hours in the year before school,” Ms Mitchell said.

Find more information on the NSW Government’s Start Strong program.

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