Distance education preschool

NSW Distance education preschool is a state-wide provision that provides educational programs and support for geographically isolated children the year before they start Kindergarten.

Distance education preschool caters for children who cannot access other early childhood education services on a regular basis. The provision is for children who live 48 kilometres or more from local early childhood education services, including community-based preschools, mobile children’s services and, or long daycare. Children may be eligible if they meet the conditions outlined for other categories of full-time distance education. Children generally attend departmental preschool classes for the year prior to kindergarten.

The educational programs provide young children with opportunities to maximise their potential and develop a foundation for future success in learning. The program is structured to support a smooth transition to kindergarten for students enrolled from a variety of locations across regional and rural NSW.

NSW Distance education preschool operates 4 classes as a single coordinated provision across the state with dedicated staff located at Broken Hill and Dubbo.

The preschool program

The distance education preschool program is:

  • flexible, child-centred, fun and interest-based
  • resourced with materials that support student learning such as library books, equipment, puzzles and games
  • reliant on the support of the parent/ caregiver/ supervisor being involved in activities
  • engaging in activities and play experiences with the children
  • reliant on feedback being provided by the parent, caregiver or supervisor to the teacher.

Within the preschool program:

  • each child has a program designed to meet their interests and needs in all development areas – program design is informed by the Early Years Learning Framework.
  • regular opportunities to participate in live sessions via an online platform with teachers and peers.
  • children engage in activities that are led by their teacher and supported by their parent, caregiver or supervisor.
  • parents, caregivers and supervisors play a vital role in the preschool program by implementing the program and providing feedback to the teacher in a range of forms – including videos or photos to assist and track a student's learning progress.
  • various forms of field services are offered which enhance the learning program.
  • parents, caregivers and supervisors are supported in their role through written and, or interactive feedback.


Children are eligible for enrolment at the distance education preschool from the beginning of the school year if they turn four (4) years of age on or before 31 July in that year. In exceptional circumstances, an additional year of enrolment may be considered, provided the child is not within the compulsory years of schooling.

Enrolling in a distance education preschool

For general enrolment enquiries please contact Rural and Distance Education.

Rural and Distance Education
140 William Street, Bathurst NSW 2795
Phone – 02 6334 8070
Email – RDE@det.nsw.edu.au

Enquiries specific to enrolments in distance education preschool can be directed to either Broken Hill School of the Air or Dubbo School of Distance Education.

Broken Hill School of the Air
Lane Street, Broken Hill NSW 2880
Phone – 08 8087 3565
Email – schoolair-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Dubbo School of Distance Education
Myall Street, Dubbo NSW 2830
Phone – 02 5804 7000
Email – dubbo-d.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Placement priorities

NSW Distance education preschool operates four classes, with a limit of 72 children, as a single coordinated provision across the state. Priority order is given to those children:

1. Living within the designated enrolment zone for one of the 10 NSW distance education schools and intend to attend a distance education school for Kindergarten in the following year

2. Living outside the designated zone for a nominated distance education school but have siblings enrolled full-time in the nominated school

3. Living in an area that meets the isolation criteria.

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