State Government provides free community pre-school to families

A DECISION by the State Government to step up and help struggling community preschools in the region keep their doors open through the COVID-19 pandemic, has been welcomed by Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall.

Mr Marshall said the $133 million package announced on Thursday would provide free preschool for families for the next six months and financially support more than 250 Local Government day care centres as well.

“I have received numerous calls from families and preschool directors in the last week, seeking support to ensure preschools any open that their children can still receive a quality early childhood education,” Mr Marshall said.

This photo was taken a number of weeks ago, before the current COVID-19 social gathering/distancing restrictions were introduced.

“I’m pleased to announce that for the next six months the preschool fees for children of all ages will be covered by the State Government.

“Community Preschools were excluded under the recently announced Commonwealth Government free childcare package, however that cost is now being picked up by NSW, to the tune of $51 million.

“I spoke personally to NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell about what we could do to support the sectors, which NSW directly funds and controls, and I’m glad Sarah responded so quickly with this funding injection.

“Additionally, the State Government has also committed up to $82 million to support 260 council childcare centres, like the one at Guyra, which are not eligible for the JobKeeper payments, helping keep staff employed.”

Mr Marshall said he wanted to thank early childhood educators for supporting the region’s youngest citizens during this difficult time.

“Day in and day out our educators have been on the front line, providing care and education to children whose parents are providing essential services in our community,” he said.

“It is vitally important we keep these facilities open and operational. Without them and their colleagues in long day-care, there would be many doctors and nurses, emergency services personnel and grocery store workers who wouldn’t be able to go to work and keep our community safe and the economy running.

“COVID-19 has already taken so much, but I’m pleased to say it won’t be getting the most important years in our children’s educational development. 

Media Release: Thursday, April 9, 2020