Is it true that New South Wales has the lowest preschool participation rates
in the country?
What proportion of three and four year old children in New South Wales
What assessment has the Government made of the evidence and recommendations
of the December 2017 'Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in
Australian Schools through Early Childhood Interventions', showing that
children who participate in high quality early childhood education do better at
school, in employment, health, income and financial security measures and
reduced involvement in crime?
Is the Government committed to ongoing, adequate funding of Universal Access
to early childhood education in the year before school?
What steps have been taken to achieve this?
Is the Government committed to expanding access to quality early childhood
education for all three year olds?
Is the Government committed to targeted extra support for vulnerable
children and families to promote access, equity and inclusion?
Is the Government committed to improving service quality and providing a
stable skilled workforce?
Is the Government committed to transparent reporting and public information
about access to early childhood education?
What further action will the Government take to improve access and outcomes
in early childhood education?
(1) and (2) This information is publicly available.
(3) The 2018-19 State Budget allocated a record $474.3 million to further
initiatives consistent with the report's recommendations, and New South Wales
is making two years of universal access available in community preschools from
(4) The Government's 2017-18 budget allocated an additional $217 million
(over four years) for Start Strong reforms which aim to ensure all children in
New South Wales can participate in 600 hours of quality early childhood
education in the Year Before Full-time Schooling. The 2018-19 budget allocated
$197.8 million over four years to extend the Government's investment in
preschool education under Start Strong.
The Government is working closely with the Commonwealth Government to
support more sustainable and transparent funding arrangements for Universal
Access to Early Childhood Education.
(5) From 1 January 2019 the extension of Start Strong will provide
funding to support all three year old children in community preschools in
accessing 600 hours of preschool.
(6) The Government provides funding and loadings for various equity groups
as part of Start Strong. There are a number of targeted programs that enhance
access, equity and inclusion for vulnerable children and families.
Start Strong loadings apply to:
(7) The Government is committed to building the capacity of the early
childhood education workforce through professional development and training.
The Quality Learning Environment program supports preschools to improve their
(8) The Government through the Department of Education collects and provides
information on access which is used in combination with Australian Bureau of
Statistics data and published in the Report on Government Services (ROGS).
(9) The Government funds initiatives and programs that support quality in
early childhood education. The extension of Start Strong from January 2019 will
ensure all three year olds have the opportunity to access two years of a
quality preschool program.