Lord Howe Island preschool to officially open soon
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Lord Howe Island will soon officially open the doors of its first preschool

by Freya Lucas

April 26, 2024

Lord Howe Island’s first preschool will shortly open its doors following years of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its remote location. 


Lord Howe Island Community Preschool Inc will give children on the island access to high quality and affordable early childhood education, providing them with opportunities enjoyed by children on the mainland.


The island is one of the most remote locations in New South Wales, sitting 600 kilometres off the mid north coast. 


The preschool is found in a town with a population of 300 people. It includes an indoor early learning space and outdoor play area that can accommodate up to 20 preschoolers aged between three and five years. 


NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car, congratulated the Lord Howe Island community for its years of advocacy to secure the preschool.


“What a wonderful day it will be for Lord Howe Island with the official opening of its first ever preschool,” Ms Car said.


“It’s so important that all children, no matter their background or where they live, have access to high quality early childhood education and care.”


There are currently 7 children enrolled at the Lord Howe Island Community Preschool and their families are the first on the island to receive government fee relief.


A volunteer group of parents first announced their vision for a preschool on the island more than a decade ago, after struggling to find care for their young learners.


Overcoming the unique challenges of COVID-19, weather, delays importing materials and availability of tradespeople, construction has now been completed.


Director of the volunteer group and local mother Rachel McFayden spearheaded the push for a preschool, after seeing children start primary school without access to play-based early childhood education and care.


The parents used the Dubbo School of Distance Education online preschool and had a kinder house but wanted a permanent preschool for more structured learning.


“We would work different days so we could all take turns looking after each other’s children,” Ms McFayden said.


“It was a lot of pressure, knowing the kids were disadvantaged and not as ready when starting school.”


“The children now have the ability to learn and be ready for school; parents are able to work and there is relief knowing they are being well cared for and looked after.”


The NSW Government awarded Lord Howe Island Community Preschool Inc. $560,000 through its $5 million Start Strong Major Capital Works Program to help build the service.


The preschool will open on Monday, 29 April, 2024. 

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