Thousands of families in NSW with three-year-old children in long day care will receive $500 in fee relief as part of a new two-year trial.
The NSW Government is delivering on its 2023-24 Budget commitment to make early childhood education and care more affordable and accessible over the next year, helping ease the cost-of-living pressures on households.
The 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 1 January 2024.
Families with children aged four 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.
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 1 January, all NSW families could be eligible for:
• up to $500 per year in fee relief for three-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 four-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 three to five-year-olds attending eligible community and mobile preschools.
• five days a fortnight of affordable preschool fee relief for all children in NSW Department of Education preschools.
For more information on the Start Strong Program Guidelines visit the NSW Department of Education website.
NSW Premier Mr Chris Minns said more affordable preschool 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,” he said.
“Research tells us that participation of 600 hours of quality ECEC in the two years before school has life-long benefits for children and supports them to be socially, emotionally and cognitively equipped as they transition to school.”