Monique Looby, Max, Nate and Cooper settling down for a story at Narrandera Preschool Early Children’s Centre

Hundreds of preschools across NSW have opened their doors to the first cohort of subsidised three year olds recently, thanks to a historic investment from the NSW Government to ensure every child has access to two years of quality early childhood education.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said for the first time ever preschool subsidies have been extended to include all three and four year olds, saving families across the Cootamundra electorate an average of $825 a year.

“Not only does this investment mean better opportunities for children in across the Cootamundra electorate, it also means parents have more money in their pockets,” Ms Cooke said.

“This is just one way the NSW Government is improving the cost-of-living for families. 

“Recently I popped into the Narrandera Preschool Early Children’s Centre, who have a number of three year olds enrolled and benefiting from this change. It’s wonderful to see policies at work which help our kids and local families.” 

Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said universal access to two years of preschool education will provide extensive benefits to both children and the community.

“Funding three-year-olds is an issue that has been raised with me a number of times during my time as Minister, so I am proud the NSW Government is listening and delivering,” Ms Mitchell said.

“The benefits of having two years of quality early childhood education includes better performance throughout primary and high school, as well as longer term benefits like better university and TAFE attendance, and better outcomes post-tertiary education.

“In June last year when the Budget was delivered, NSW was the only state in Australia in the financial position to offer three-year-old preschool subsidies, and I am proud that other states have since followed suit and modelled their policy off ours.”

The NSW Government’s Start Strong program was introduced in 2016 and has already seen significant success for children attending preschool for 600 hours in the year before school – a reduction in average daily fees by 25 per cent and an increase in enrolments by 40 per cent.