SUPPORTING FAMILIES & CHILDREN AT FOREFRONT OF STATE BUDGET

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

 

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today recognised a NSW Budget which brings the region’s families to the forefront, supporting an increase in the number of available childcare places, developing a plan for universal pre-Kindergarten and lowering the cost of sending children to both preschool and school.

 

Mr Marshall said the 2022-23 Budget aimed to increase access to early education opportunities while empowering women to get back into the workforce.

 

“Today’s budget has put working families front-and-centre by recognising that our children’s earliest years are their most important,” Mr Marshal said.

 

“In our region, the childcare shortage and cost of childcare are two barriers preventing parents getting back to work.

 

“Through programs like the Accessible Childcare and Economic Participation Fund, the State Government will make childcare more accessible by providing grants to childcare providers to expand infrastructure, establish new centres and trial new models of delivery.

 

“The cost of sending children to preschool will significantly be reduced, with fee relief to be offered for children 3 to 5 years in a variety of preschool settings.

 

“Developmental concerns will be addressed early with the Brighter Beginning Package to provide all children with a full suite of developmental checks before they start school and make the baby blue book digital.

 

“It’s obvious that the Federal Government had ceased to recognise the importance of early childhood education. This is why the State Government has stepped up to make sure that every child has the opportunity for a better, brighter future.”

 

Mr Marshall said of all the items in this year’s budget, he knew which would be the most popular.

 

“The Premier’s Back to School program will provide families with a $150 subsidy for each child who attends a primary or secondary school in NSW in 2023,” he said.

 

“The $150, which will be accessed through Service NSW like the Dine and Discover Program, can go towards the cost of school uniforms, shoes, bags or textbooks, as well as other stationery.

 

“This program will support parents to provide the learning essentials for their children and help them succeed at school.”

 

Measures focussed on families in the 2022-23 NSW Budget include:

 

  • $376.5 million Brighter Beginning Package
    • will provide all children with a full suite of developmental checks before they start school and make the baby blue book digital.
    • continue and expand the number of Aboriginal Child and Family Centres across the state;
    • expand the transformational Sustaining NSW Families clinical nurse home visiting program;
    • develop the clinical interface of the Digital Baby Book; and
    • Pregnancy Family Conferencing available to more parents across NSW.

 

  •  $5.8 billion universal pre-Kindergarten program
    • will give every child in NSW access to a specialised year of play-based learning, smoothing their transition to school and solidifying their path to a brighter future

 

  • $1.4 billion to make preschool affordable – from 1 January 2023, all NSW families will be eligible for:
    • up to $4,000 per year in fee relief for 3, 4 and 5-year-olds attending a community or mobile preschool
    •  up to $2,000 per year in fee relief for 4 and 5-year-olds attending preschool in a long day care setting and
    • the equivalent of 5 days a fortnight of affordable preschool fee relief for all children in Department of Education preschools.

 

  • $5 billion Affordable and Accessible Childcare and Economic Participation Fund
    • provide grants to childcare providers to expand infrastructure and establish new centres,
    • target areas with limited access to childcare centres or where a shortage of childcare places poses the highest disincentive to parents returning to work,
    • complement the Commonwealth’s demand-side childcare policy framework through flexible supply side funding,
    • invest $775 million over the next four years, and
    • trial new service models to meet the needs of modern families.

 

  • $193 million Premiers Back to School Budget Boost
    • will provide families with a $150 subsidy, through Service NSW, for each child who attends a primary or secondary school in NSW in 2023.

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