Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is urging all preschools in Cootamundra to apply for funding as part of a $15 million injection from the NSW Government to ensure children attending preschools have the safest and most engaging learning environments.

“This is great news for our local preschools– this funding could cover items like new play equipment to encourage a child’s hand-eye coordination, replacing bark with soft fall in the outdoor play area to reduce risk of injury or new air conditioning to give children a more comfortable learning environment,” Ms Cooke said.

The funding is made up of the new $10 million Quality Learning Environments fund and the $5 million Capital Works Grants fund – both a product of the NSW Government’s Start Strong program.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said the investment ensures all children across NSW have access to top quality early childhood education in the crucial years before school.

“The NSW Government’s Start Strong program is already making a huge difference to preschools across NSW. Data from the 2017 Community Preschool Census shows not only have average daily fees reduced by 25 per cent since the implementation of the NSW Government’s Start Strong program, we have also seen the number of children attending 600 hours of preschool increase by a huge 40 per cent,” Minister Mitchell said.

The NSW Government’s $332 million Start Strong program was introduced in 2016 and has been extended until 2021 – this investment is more than ever before.

The $5 million Capital Works Grants fund is aimed at increasing the number of 600 hours preschool places in NSW where there is demonstrated need and the $10 million Quality Learning Environments will not only enhance a child’s physical learning environment, but will also optimise the health and safety of children attending preschool.

For more information on the grants and how to apply, visit:

MEDIA: Madeleine Clarke | Graham Springett: 6924 2533