Families across the Cootamundra electorate will have even more support during the State’s worst drought on record, with a further $5.2 million in funding for Early Childhood Education services announced today.

Across the Cootamundra electorate, 15 community preschools have already received over $160,000 in drought support from Round One and more than $170,000 in Round Two of the funding.

“This is the first time the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government are expanding the Drought Relief funding to long day care centres as well as community preschools, because we know the drought doesn’t discriminate based on the type of service a child attends – everyone is feeling the impact of the drought,” Ms Cooke said.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the program will help ease the financial burden of the drought on young families, whilst also ensuring participation in a preschool program is maintained.

“Services in areas like the Cootamundra electorate can use this funding to assist families and children in a range of ways, including travel arrangements to maintain participation in early childhood education, crisis planning or fee subsidies to further support families,” Ms Mitchell said.

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Adam Marshall said the program was part of the NSW Liberal & National Government’s latest drought assistance package, designed to alleviate the sting of drought on farmers and regional communities. 

“Across the State our farmers and regional communities are experiencing one of the worst droughts in living memory. That’s why the NSW Government has delivered a $755 million drought assistance package to help support our rural communities through these difficult times,” Mr Marshall said.

“We know that the drought not only impacts farmers but also regional communities as a whole, and that’s why we’ve delivered a holistic package that also provides much needed support to our local businesses and services.

“Travelling around the State this week I’ve seen firsthand just how tough our rural communities are doing it. While the best package is rain I’m confident these measures will provide some much needed reprieve.”

For more information on the Government’s Drought Support Package, visit www.droughthub.nsw.gov.au