NSW Government introduces ECE Finder tool, streamlining care hunt for families
The New South Wales Government has introduced an ECE finder tool, designed to make it easier for families with young children to find high quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) services which meet their needs.
The finder was developed in conjunction with Service NSW, who will also host it, and serves as a compliment to the existing BASC and Vacation care finders.
The NSW ECE finder is being launched as part of the Brighter Beginnings Initiative, a whole-of-government initiative announced by Sarah Mitchell, NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, last year, that brings together different government agencies to support child development in the first 2000 days of child’s life, from conception, through pregnancy, to the age of five.
“We know there are other ECE finders out there, but there is not one complete tool that can show families all the options available to them and give them that key information about quality in a way that is easy to understand” added.
The finder gives families information about different services types, what to look for when choosing a service, and, importantly, what the quality rating of a service is, and covers service types including long day care services, family day care and NSW funded community preschools.
“Quality is an important factor for families to consider when choosing an education and care service, and this tool provides a reliable and authoritative source of information that families can trust,” Ms Mitchell explained.
The finder uses the graphic introduced by the NSW Government last year to give ‘at a glance’ information about a service’s quality rating and give families confidence to engage in discussions about quality at a service when first looking at a service for their child’s education and care.
“Finding a quality education and care service is a key part of the journey through the first 2000 days and is one of the most important decisions families will make for their children, so we want to make sure families have easy access to reliable, accurate information so they can make the best choice possible” Ms Mitchell added.
A public awareness campaign will be launched alongside the finder, which is designed to raise awareness about the benefits of attending a quality ECEC service and to encourage parents to think about getting their children enrolled.
To access resources to support the awareness campaign at a service level, please see here.