Official Media Release

First Cohort of Subsidised Three-Year-Olds Attend Preschool in Upper Hunter

FIRST COHORT OF SUBSIDISED THREE-YEAR-OLDS ATTEND PRESCHOOL IN UPPER HUNTER

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today noted that hundreds of preschools across NSW have opened their doors to the first cohort of subsidised three year olds this week, thanks to a historic investment from the NSW Government to ensure every child has access to two years of quality early childhood education.

Mr Johnsen said that for the first time ever preschool subsidies have been extended to include all three and four-year-olds, saving families across [electorate] an average of $825 a year.

“Not only does this investment mean better opportunities for children in our Upper Hunter Electorate, it also means parents have more money in their pockets,” Mr Johnsen said.

“This is just one way the NSW Government is improving the cost-of-living for families in Upper Hunter and right across the State.

“I look forward to seeing our local children starting school more equipped with the skills to succeed, thanks to this historic investment.”

Mr Johnsen continued, saying universal access to two years of preschool education will provide extensive benefits to both children and the community.

“I am proud to be a Member in a Government that is listening and delivering,” Mr Johnsen said.

“The benefits of having two years of quality early childhood education includes better performance throughout primary and high school, as well as longer term benefits like better university and TAFE attendance, and better outcomes post-tertiary education.

“In June last year when the Budget was delivered, NSW was the only state in Australia in the financial position to offer three-year-old preschool subsidies, and I am proud that other states have since followed suit and modelled their policy on that which the Nationals in Government have been able to provide in NSW,” Mr Johnsen concluded.

The NSW Government’s Start Strong program was introduced in 2016 and has already seen significant success for children attending preschool for 600 hours in the year before school – a reduction in average daily fees by 25 per cent and an increase in enrolments by 40 per cent.