The Front Project welcomes NSW budget measures to boost early childhood education and care

The Front Project welcomes the Minns government’s budget commitment to maintain the $5.7 billion dollars in funding over 10 years for universal preschool access and its boost to the state’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. 

The Front Project is reassured to see the guarantee of $5 billion investment over 10 years in the Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund, as a long-term investment into ECEC that will help ensure stability and direction in the years to come. 

“We look forward to working with the NSW government on delivering quality childhood education which helps the youngest learners to thrive.”

The Front Project adds they are also encouraged by the budget’s announcement of 100 new public preschools across NSW.

The Front Project’s CEO, Jane Hunt notes, “NSW has a long history of being a leader in early learning, committing to building new public preschools across regional and metropolitan areas of the state is a great step forward to building a new legacy.” 

The budget signals the need for greater support for families and caregivers, by including measures that directly impact families. Research from the Front Project’s Work & Play report tells us that 77% of parents agreed that access to ECEC services is important for the mental health and wellbeing of the whole family. 

We know families and caregivers are facing cost-of-living challenges, the announcement of preschool fee relief for eligible three-year-old children and additional $200 million for Out of Care services is a step in the right direction. 

“Our research shows one in five children start school behind and this investment in early learning will be pivotal to helping address disadvantage,” Ms Hunt said.

The budget has also allocated $28.5 million in the essential early childhood education and care workforce, including $3 million to strengthen the workforce pipeline. Investment into the workforce is an important step towards building quality ECEC in every community and ensure high-performing skilled educators to meet demand. 

“We know how important it is not just for children but the wider community to have an accessible, equitable and quality early learning system for all".