National preschool agreement welcomed by parents

Central Coast Council P&C (CCCP&C) has welcomed news of a historic agreement which will see the NSW and Federal Governments provide $840M in preschool funding.

The new National Preschool Reform Agreement, with NSW as its first signatory, will ensure every child in the state will receive at least 15 hours per week of high-quality education in the year before school, regardless of where they live or their background.

Spokesperson Sharryn Brownlee said CCCP&C had been advocating for 15 hours of preschool for every child.

“Having access to preschool services not only helps all children socially and academically, it allows early identification of learning difficulties, speech or hearing problems etc,” she said.

“Children will have better life chances and families will manage better if these and other matters are picked up early.

“There is also well researched evidence that young children transition to school with ease after having time at preschool.

“Brain development is nurtured through sound and visual stimulation.

“Also healthy routines and eating habits as well as learning to share, take turns and have fun with an exciting range of toys and activities really benefits small children.

“NSW has a number of preschools attached to primary schools and this further eases the transition to school and offers great support for students, their families and staff.”

Brownlee said with diverse families across the Central Coast it would be ideal to locate more Department of Education preschools in the region to ensure equity for all children.

Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Stuart Robert, said the new agreement will ensure children in NSW have access to quality preschool options and are better prepared for their first year of school.

This funding agreement provides certainty to parents, educators and the sector throughout NSW,” he said.

The Commonwealth Government has committed $560M in new funding with more than $280M from the NSW Government to support the four-year funding deal.

The NSW Government will also increase the quality of preschool and long day care education by delivering targeted programs for children who experience disadvantage.

Funding will be linked to reforms to increase preschool participation rates and improve outcomes, benefiting all children regardless of the type of preschool they attend.

There will be an increased focus on engagement of children and families, particularly from vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds, to help them have a happy, safe and supported preschool experience and a stronger start in life.

The Commonwealth’s investment in early childhood education also includes around $10B a year through the childcare system to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families using child care and improve workforce participation.

Terry Collins