Public preschools

The department operates 101 preschools with 133 classes across NSW. 61 preschools are located in the Sydney metropolitan area and 40 are in regional and rural areas, including distance education preschool classes in Dubbo School of Distance Education and Broken Hill School of the Air. Eleven preschools are designated specifically for Aboriginal children and another 13 are in Aboriginal communities or in schools where there is a significantly high number of Aboriginal students enrolled.

It is the department's intent that preschools provide:

  • for the most disadvantaged children in the local community
  • universal access to high-quality early childhood education in the year prior to school.
Preschools provide secure, positive and stimulating learning environments to ensure 'all children make a strong start in life and learning and make a successful transition to school.' (Department of Education Strategic Plan 2019-2023).

Universal access to early childhood education ensures that every child can participate in a quality preschool program in the year before school. Programs are to be delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher for 15 hours per week or 600 hours per year, with a focus on Aboriginal, vulnerable or disadvantaged children.

Leading and operating public preschool guidelines

The Leading and operating public preschool guidelines (Staff only) support the leadership and operations of public preschools.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Early Childhood Outcomes
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