26 September 2022

Parents to benefit from new childcare legislation

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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New childcare legislation is set to help transform the lives of families across NSW. Photo: iStock/FatCamera.

More accessible and affordable quality childcare will soon be available to parents across NSW.

Recently the Parliament introduced legislation for a $5 billion Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund that is designed to transform the lives of families.

The fund is set to help the State Government deliver on its $15.9 billion commitment that was announced in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to help families.

The NSW Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund Bill 2022 is set to give more people in the state the chance to choose both a career and a family by easing the cost of living pressures.

The fund, along with the Federal Government’s childcare reforms, is set to allow nearly 95,000 women to enter the workforce or take on more hours.

The State Government hopes families can enjoy the benefit of this important initiative for decades to come.

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Nationals Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the fund added to other measures announced in the Budget to improve women’s economic opportunity, boost their workplace participation, and tackle the gender pay gap.

“This fund will help break the childcare drought by targeting areas with limited access and trialling new service models to meet the needs of modern families,” Ms Taylor said.

Nationals Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the fund would provide opportunities for the early childhood sector to grow, be innovative to the needs of families, and support children with the highest quality education and care.

“Enshrining this in law will guarantee investment in the sector and improve quality in both infrastructure and the workforce,” Ms Mitchell said. “We’ll continue to work with providers on the fund’s rollout to best support the formative years of children’s lives.”

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Over the next decade, the NSW Government is set to spend $15.9 billion on childcare and early education, including:
• Up to $5 billion over 10 years to establish the Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund.
• $5.8 billion over 10 years to introduce a high-quality universal pre-kindergarten year for all children in NSW in the year before school by 2030.
• $1.4 billion over four years to provide affordable preschool.
• $64.1 million to increase participation of three-year-olds in preschool in long daycare settings.
• $281.6 million over four years to increase the number, quality and retention of early childhood educators and teachers. The package includes early childhood teacher higher education scholarships of up to $25,000, vocational education and training scholarships of up to $2000 and employer supplements for staff retention.
• $111.2 million over four years for developmental checks in preschools in both metro and rural areas as part of the Brighter Beginnings initiative.
• $24.7 million over four years to build system stewardship capability and offer more tailored support and guidance to early childhood education and care service providers.
• $37.9 million over three years to improve access to before- and after-school care services.

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