February 1st, 2023



Thrive By Five Welcomes NSW Labor’s $60 Million Commitment for Preschools Co-Located at Non-Government Schools

01 February 2023 – Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative has welcomed NSW Labor’s pledge to spend $60 million to build or upgrade preschools alongside at least 50 non-government schools if it wins the upcoming state election.

The NSW Labor Opposition has confirmed that if elected it will build new or upgrade existing public childcare centres constructed on or next to 50 Catholic or Independent schools in Sydney’s southwest. [1]

Today’s announcement is part of NSW Labor’s plan to build 100 preschools co-located with public schools in its first term of government[2]. The funding will be awarded in alignment with the Buildings Grants Assistance scheme, which allocates funding to areas of significant need.

Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said; “Thrive by Five welcomes NSW Labor’s commitment to building or upgrading public preschools on or next to 50 non-government schools. Media reports suggest these schools are situated in high-growth areas, such as Riverstone, Camden, Austral, Leppington and Schofields, where parents will need high-quality and affordable early learning centres.

“The announcement today builds on the significant momentum for more affordable and more accessible, quality early learning, including higher Federal Government childcare subsidies starting on July 1st this year.[3] This is expected to reduce high-out-of-pockets costs of childcare for approximately 96 per cent of families with children in care[4]. The announcement was part of an extensive $5.4 billion plan to make childcare cheaper for families across Australia.”

NSW Labor’s announcement follows the announcement from the Liberal Coalition while in government last year of a significant $5 billion investment[5] in childcare in NSW. The funding, which commenced last year, is designed to drive down childcare costs, and lower the barrier of entry for primary carers to return to the workforce should they wish.

“Last year, the NSW and Victoria governments announced a landmark bipartisan reform childcare package that included 30 hours of free early education for all four-year-olds in their states. [6]  Thrive By Five urges whichever party forms the next NSW State government to prioritise local reform and take a leadership role in the national early learning reform currently on the National Cabinet agenda.

“The first five years of a child’s life are critical to their overall cognitive development. Research has shown young children who attend high quality early learning facilities are healthier, have better educational outcomes and are more productive over the course of their lifetimes[7].

“Australia has made significant strides over the past 12 months towards improving access to early childhood education for families but more needs to be done. State governments, including whichever party wins the impending NSW election, must continue to work with their federal counterpart to establish a national, high-quality and universally accessible early learning system for all Australian children,” Mr Weatherill said.