Children are better prepared for school if they have attended preschool so it was great to visit Wunanbiri preschool at Alexandria to announce the biggest single preschool fee reduction in the state’s history.
We want to ensure children start their first day of kindergarten with the social, cognitive and emotional skills that will give them their best possible start. Research shows that children who receive a quality early childhood education in the year before they start school are better prepared for the change when they start school.
We have listened to parents and it’s clear one of the challenges they face in sending their children to preschool has been the level of fees. This announcement will give parents an average 30 per cent discount, encouraging more to send their kids to preschool.
As part of the Government’s commitment to provide universal access to quality early childhood education, fees will be reduced to an average $22 per day when a child is enrolled for a minimum 15 hours per week. We’re able to provide the discount through a $115 million funding boost that will enable more children to participate in early childhood education in community preschools and long day care centres. From 1 January 2017, community preschools across the state that enroll four and five year olds for at least 600 hours in the year before school will also receive increased subsidies from the Government.
Preschools will be contractually required to pass on at least three-quarters of additional funding in the form of reduced fees as a result of the Government’s initiatives, resulting in fee discounts of an average 30 per cent per child.
The announcement also stems from feedback the Government received from the Auditor-General, who recommended funding be tied to enrolments of at least 600 hours per year, and also recommended removing the barriers currently preventing some parents from sending their four or five year olds to preschool in the year before they started school.
The funding will make early childhood education more affordable and remove almost all fees for children from Aboriginal and low-income families at preschools.
While, NSW remains a top attraction for Chinese tourists and we’re meeting the demand by increasing the number of Sydney flights offered by one of China’s biggest airlines. The latest service from Hainan Airlines touched down at Sydney Airport this week, as part of a promotional partnership for twice-weekly services from Changsha and Xi’an. There was an impressive 21 per cent increase in Chinese visitors to NSW in the year to June and this latest deal is expected to bring an extra 52,000 people to the state each year. Chinese visitors want to experience our beautiful city, harbor and beaches for themselves and this deal will open up our state to these two major cities in China.