Start Strong

The NSW Government is committed to ensuring that all children in New South Wales can participate in 600 hours of quality preschool education in the year before school, no matter where they live or what their circumstances are.

The Start Strong funding reforms were announced in 2016 and introduced from 1 January 2017, to support access to early childhood education for more children across the state.

Value of Start Strong

600 hours of quality early childhood education

Research shows that children who participate in a quality early childhood education program for at least 600 hours in the year before school are more likely to arrive at school equipped with the social, cognitive and emotional skills they need to engage in learning.

The benefits endure well beyond primary school. Higher levels of educational attainment, economic participation and family well being have all been linked to moderate levels of participation in early childhood education.

Making early childhood education more affordable

To ensure that affordability is not a barrier for families with young children, in 2016 the NSW Government allocated an initial $115 million in funding for Start Strong.

In the 2017-18 NSW budget, the investment in Start Strong was extended through to 2021, with an additional $217 million committed over four years to strengthen the State’s ability to ensure universal access to an early childhood education program for 600 hours in the year before school.

This funding adds to the $150 million that was already allocated under the previous Preschool Funding Model, and is designed to significantly reduce preschool fees, making 600 hours of early childhood education more affordable for all families.

Fee Reductions

Parents and carers should check with their preschool provider regarding their child’s fees as each preschool sets its own fee levels.

Reduced fees for 3 year old children in Preschools

Research by the Mitchell Institute and others shows conclusively that two years of quality preschool education improves children’s learning outcomes at school and in life. Led by advocacy and research, the NSW Government announced that all three-year olds in community based preschools will receive subsidised funding to reduce fees for 3 year old children from 2019.

All information on this page is sourced from the NSW Department of Education website.