NSW MAKES A SMART INVESTMENT IN EXTENDING FREE PRESCHOOL FOR THREE TO FIVE-YEAR-OLDS FOR ANOTHER YEAR
9 November 2020 – The Thrive by Five campaign has today welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to extend for a further year its provision of free early learning for three to five-year-olds attending community preschool across the state. This follows NSW Labor’s call for an extension of free preschool in the State earlier this year, making this a bipartisan issue.
The additional funding will provide up to 15 hours of free early learning per child each week, which the NSW Government models could save families more than $2,000 per child for the year.
Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said affordability of early learning has become the biggest issue impacting cost of living for Australian families, with costs some of the highest in the OECD at 27 per cent of household income.
“This new investment in early learning announced by the Berejiklian Government is the smart way of kickstarting NSW’s economy, increasing options for working families and women’s workforce participation and giving children the best possible start to life,” Mr Weatherill said.
“Early learning is a smart investment as every $1 of funding returns about $2.16 in increased workplace participation benefits while improving the lives of children.
“Investment in early learning also removes the financial disincentive for second income earners who would previously have seen income lost through higher taxes, reduced family payments and care costs.
“It is significant that the extension of free early learning for three to five-year-olds has bipartisan support in NSW. I hope all sides of politics will continue to work together for further investment and reform in the early learning system over coming years.
“This shows that early learning is not a partisan issue, both major parties in NSW have shown that it’s about recovering from the pandemic, creating and maintaining countless jobs and supporting children in their most important years.
“As Australian governments invest in economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, now is the time to create a universal, high quality early learning system and help secure a better future.”