The NSW State Government has recently put into place a fee relief program to help with pre-school fees. It is targeted specifically for preschool education and is called the Start Strong Program and is part of the NSW Government’s $1.3 billion Affordable Preschool program from the start of 2024.
This new initiative aims at delivering more affordable preschool to eligible children to drive up preschool education involvement in the two years leading up to primary school. It will also provide fee relief for children aged 4-5 years old in long day care services for the first time. This will be in addition to the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
From January 2024, all NSW families will be eligible for:
For Caring 4 Kids Kindergarten, fee relief for some families will be over $2,000 per year, integrated into Start Strong and provide long day care services with sustainable long-term funding to deliver more affordable preschool to eligible children.
Start Strong for long day care funding is provided for children in the year or two before school and supports enrolment of at least 600 hours per child, per year. Evidence shows that this level of participation in a quality early childhood education program in the two years before school is associated with better outcomes for children.
To be eligible for the Start Strong Affordable Preschool fee relief program, a child will need to be at least 4 years old on or before 31 July 2024, be enrolled in an eligible early childhood education program for at least 600 hours per year, and not be receiving the fee relief for another service.
All NSW families are eligible regardless of Citizenship or residency status. The Start Strong funding is additional to and will not affect families’ Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments.
If you are wondering how to claim the Start Strong Affordable Preschool fee relief, contact the team at Caring 4 Kids Kindergarten and we’ll send you the Start Strong fee relief declaration form. Families are required to complete a declaration form to nominate the specific long day-care centre they would like to receive fee relief from. A child can only receive fee relief from one nominated childcare centre, at any one time.
For futher information please download the PDF below: