Parents across New South Wales can begin the process of saving on the cost of preschool thanks to a Minns Government program to deliver fee relief for three-year-olds in long day care.
A two-year trial will see an additional 64,000 families with three-year-old children in eligible preschool programs in long day care centres receive $500 in fee-relief, which came into effect on January 1, 2024.
It is part of a more than $100 million package of initiatives to invest in early learning and enhance the sector’s workforce, after opportunities in this important sector were missed by the Liberals and the Nationals.
Investment in quality early childhood education and care has lifelong benefits for NSW’s youngest learners and is a key to enabling parental workforce participation.
Families with children aged 4 or up who are enrolled in a preschool program at an eligible long day care centre will continue to have access to fee relief.
These cash savings are in addition to the Australian Government Childcare Subsidy (CCS) payments, which most families in long day care are eligible to receive.
Premier of NSW Chris Minns asys it is a win-win for families across the state, as it helps ease the cost of living while also making it easier to earn a household income.
“This will mean more children can access early childhood education, where they will also benefit from health and education initiatives that will provide them with the best start to their learning life no matter their post code or background.”
“Research tells us that participation of 600 hours of quality ECEC in the 2 years before school has life-long benefits for children and supports them to be socially, emotionally and cognitively equipped as they transition to school.”
Families need to complete a declaration form at their service to access the fee relief. Services will pass on the savings as a weekly reduction in fees.
From January 1, all NSW families could be eligible for:
- up to $500 per year in fee relief for 3-year-olds attending eligible preschool programs in long day care on top of their CCS payment.
- up to $2,110 per year in fee relief for children aged 4 years-old and above attending eligible preschool programs in long day care on top of their CCS payment.
- up to $4,220 per year for 3 to 5-year-olds attending eligible community and mobile preschools.
- 5 days a fortnight of affordable preschool fee relief for all children in Department of Education Preschools.
For more information on the Start Strong Program Guidelines visit the NSW Department of Education: education.nsw.gov.au/early-childhood-education/operating-an-early-childhood-education-service/grants-and-funded-programs/start-strong-funding
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