Community Preschools in NSW welcome 3 year olds to start the new school year
New South Wales preschools welcomed subsidised three year olds into their programs last week, on the back of an “historic investment to ensure every child has access to two years of early childhood education”, the NSW Government has said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited Doonside Kindergarten to mark the occasion, saying that she looked forward to seeing the impact that the funding would have on both children and families.
“Not only does this investment mean better educational opportunities for children right across NSW, it also means that on average, families will save $825 on preschool fees this year alone,” Ms Berejiklian said.
NSW is the first state in Australia to subsidise all three year olds in community preschools, under an investment of almost $200 million.
“I am proud that as a Government we can do more to ease cost of living pressures for parents and improve educational outcomes for our children,” Ms Berejiklian noted.
NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said access to two years of preschool education will provide benefits to children and the community.
“We know that two years of quality early childhood education leads to better performance throughout primary and high school, as well as better university and TAFE attendance, and better outcomes post-tertiary education,” Ms Mitchell said.
Ms Berejiklian noted that since the Start Strong program was introduced in 2016, subsidising funding for one year of preschool, attendance figures had “overwhelmingly improved” and daily fees had fallen.
“Participation rates have increased by more than 40 per cent for children enrolled for 600 hours, and average daily fees decreased by 25 per cent,” Ms Berejiklian said.