Official Media Release

Free Preschool In Upper Hunter Continued For Term 4

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced an extension of the COVID-19 relief funding for community and mobile preschools in Upper Hunter to the end of Term 4.

Mr Johnsen said this funding will ensure local community preschools remain open and will not be forced to close their doors if enrolments fall.

“Our local eligible services in Upper Hunter can opt in for the relief funding to allow them to provide fee relief and maintain staffing levels. Services will be contacted directly with information on how to opt in and access payments for Term 4,” Mr Johnsen said.

Sarah Mitchell, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning said the continued funding recognises the importance of helping families keep children engaged in preschool education.

“Research clearly demonstrates children who attend 600 hours of preschool in the year before they start school have better outcomes throughout their lives,” Ms Mitchell said.

“Extending this relief funding will help families keep their children attending this critical year of early education.

“COVID-19 has already caused disruption to all of our lives, so it’s more important than ever to ensure our local families are supported to keep children in quality education and care.”

Mr Johnsen said the Nationals in Government are committed to ensuring children have access to vital early education, particularly in the year before school.

“We know these are testing times and that’s why we continue to offer this vital support to ease cost-of-living pressures and ensure children right across the State have access to the education they need and deserve,” Mr Johnsen concluded.While the NSW Government provides ongoing funding for preschools, this package provides additional funds to cover parent fees and the impact of falling enrolments.