There are a number of procedures and requirements for enrolment in a department preschool.
Families seeking to enrol their child in a department preschool should contact the relevant school directly for enrolment information.
Department preschools enrol children for one year only, the year before they start school.
Children can enrol from the beginning of the school year if they turn four years of age before 31 July that year.
Priority is given to:
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children
- children living in low socio-economic circumstances
- children who are unable to access other early childhood settings due to financial hardship.
The Principal of the school will then offer enrolment in the following order:
- children living within the school's catchment area
- children living outside the catchment area but have siblings at the school
- other applicants
Families must provide documentation about their child's immunisation status. Enrolment cannot proceed without this information. Read more about immunisation.
Families must provide documentation as evidence of their child's identify and date of birth. However, if no birth certificate is available, this can be shown through a secondary document. Examples of secondary documents are:
- blue book
- hospital birth card
- baptism, christening, name giving or similar record.
If none of these documents are available, a statuary declaration should be obtained from the parents stating the date of birth of the child and the reason why such a document is not available.
The application to enrol in a NSW Government preschool (PDF 555 KB) must be completed and submitted.
The preschool enrolment form must adhere to regulatory requirements about emergency contact person(s) giving authorisation for the school to transport a child or arrange transportation of a child. To ensure preschool compliance schools must:
- use the current enrolment form
- also complete this supplementary form for all children currently enrolled in the preschool and attach it to the corresponding enrolment form.
Preschools designated for Aboriginal students
- Eleven designated preschools cater specifically for Aboriginal children.
- When vacancies occur every effort is made to ensure places are filled by Aboriginal children. If there are insufficient Aboriginal enrolments, places may be offered to non-Aboriginal children, although a buffer of two places must be maintained for future Aboriginal enrolments.
- When prioritising applications, preschools in communities with significant numbers of Aboriginal children should liaise with the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG).
Distance education preschool programs
- A limited number of preschools offer programs through distance education for geographically isolated children, unable to access any other children's services.
- Designation of sites that provide preschool programs via distance education is determined on a needs basis every three years.
- Find more information on the Rural and distance education site.
Temporary visa holders in preschools
- Preschool children who are temporary visa holders may enrol in departmental preschools under the same conditions as Australian citizens. However, some short-term visa holders are ineligible.
- Temporary residents who hold visitor/tourist visas are not eligible for enrolment.
- Temporary visa holders are required to pay preschool class fees although they do not have to pay the temporary resident's fee.
Early Intervention classes
Enrolment in early intervention classes is through an access request application process. Contact your local learning and wellbeing officer for further information.
The preschool fee schedule is based on the Preschool Class Fees in Government Schools policy and outlines the daily fees that schools should charge for attendance at the preschool, based on the relative index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) value of the school. The schedule allows for reduction for commonwealth health care card holders and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
National childcare rebates and subsidies are not available to families as department preschools do not meet the government's criteria for these.
Preschools operate on the same days and hours as other primary schools in NSW. Schools provide opportunities for staff and school leaders to improve their skills and professional capacity to deliver key curriculum priorities.
Preschools will be open the same days as schools see dates for school terms