More than 64,000 families with children in childcare are set to receive a one-off payment to help ease the rising pressures attached to the cost-of-living crisis.
Effective from 1 January, families with a three-year-old enrolled at a long day care facility are now eligible for a $500 fee relief support payment.
The two-year payment trial is part of a $100-plus million investment package for early learning. The package aims to enhance the sector’s workforce and includes staffing increases, pay rises and increased subsidies.
As of 1 January, all NSW families could be eligible for:
- up to $500 per year in fee relief for three-year-olds attending eligible preschool programs in long day care on top of their Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payment
- up to $2110 per year in fee relief for children aged four years old and over attending eligible preschool programs in long day care on top of their CCS payment
- up to $4220 per year for three- to five-year-olds attending eligible community and mobile preschools
- Five days a fortnight of affordable preschool fee relief for all children in Department of Education preschools.
Families need to complete a declaration form at their service provider to access the fee relief. Providers will pass on the savings as a weekly reduction in fees.
Families with children aged four and over who are enrolled in a preschool program at an eligible long day care centre will continue to have access to fee relief.
These cash savings are in addition to the Australian Government Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments, which most families in long day care are eligible to receive.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said more affordable preschool care was a win-win for all families across the state as it helped ease the cost of living and provided an easier path to earning a household income.
“This will mean more children can access early childhood education [and care] (ECEC), where they will also benefit from health and education initiatives that will provide them with the best start to their learning life no matter their postcode or background.
“Research tells us that participation of 600 hours of quality ECEC in the two years before school has lifelong benefits for children and supports them to be socially, emotionally and cognitively equipped as they transition to school.”