The New South Wales Government is set to deliver fee relief to parents with three-year-old children in long day care, as part of a two-year trial.
The Queensland 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, and came into effect on 1 January 2024.
The trial is part of a more than $100 million package of initiatives to invest in early learning and enhance the sector’s workforce.
The New South Wales Government said that investment in quality early childhood education and care has lifelong benefits for the state’s youngest learners and is a key to enabling parental workforce participation.
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 Federal 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 and services will pass on the savings as a weekly reduction in fees.
From 1 January, all New South Wales 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-year-olds to five-year-olds attending eligible community and mobile preschools
- Five days a fortnight of affordable preschool fee relief for all children in Department of Education preschools
New South Wales Premier, Chris Minns, said that 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 (ECEC), 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,” Mr Minns 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.”