NSW Government announces fee relief for families
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > NSW Government initiates fee relief measures to boost preschool attendance

NSW Government initiates fee relief measures to boost preschool attendance

by Freya Lucas

September 14, 2023

Families of up to 64,000 New South Wales children will benefit from $500 in fee relief measures announced yesterday by Premier Chris Minns.


The measures are designed to boost preschool education and provide cost of living relief, the Premier said, describing the announcement as “an important step towards ensuring all children in NSW have access to early education”.


The fee relief is part of a more than $100 million package of initiatives to invest in early learning and enhance the sector’s workforce, including: 


  • Flexibility for families: $20 million for the Flexible Initiatives trial to expand access to early childhood education and care (ECEC), extended hours and assist parents re-entering the workforce.
  • New services: $20 million in capital funds to support new not-for-profit (NFP) services in high-growth and regional communities.
  • Workforce: $22 million over five years to recruit and retain essential early childhood workers including providing professional development and scholarships for tertiary education of early childhood workers.


“We were elected with a mandate to reinvest in essential services – and that includes giving children the best possible start in life, and a great education,” the Premier continued.


“We know how important early education is to a child’s development. These are big reforms that will impact the way we deliver early education in NSW.”


Early responses from the ECEC sector have been favourable, with Goodstart Early Learning CEO Dr Ros Baxter saying the initial investments in fee relief for three-year-old preschool, flexibility, new high-quality NFP services and workforce initiatives “hit the right notes” on what was needed.


“These are sensible first year priorities for the fund, which can help guide the bigger investments that the Fund can make in later years,” she said.


“The additional investment to support and grow the early childhood workforce is urgently needed because of the shortages of teachers and educators across the state which impact on the ability of centres to offer places to all families who need it, but more needs to be done.”


Dr Baxter particularly welcomed the investment in new high-quality NFP services, noting that the proportion of long day care centres in NSW that are NFP has fallen from 32 per cent of all services to 24  per cent in the last decade.


Further details on the measures are expected to be included in next week’s budget announcement. 

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