BENEFIT OR BUST: NSW Government proposes additional preschool year by 2030

The NSW Government has announced the introduction of an additional year of preschool by 2030, to be known as universal "pre-Kindergarten".

This announcement was made in advance of the NSW Budget (on 21 June 2022) and the NSW State Election (in just over 9 months’ time on 25 March 2023).

Despite the media coverage, the NSW Government intends to increase the attendances of 130,000 children to five days a week in their year-before-school on either some schools OR existing early childhood education and care services.

The NSW Government intends to consult with families, peak bodies and service providers to determine the best way to deliver this reform, especially to avoid the severe unintended repercussions including on the childcare fees for the other children.

ACA NSW intends to ensure that such consultation must resolve where these additional educators can be found, what are the children’s measurable preschool outcomes that harmonise with their educational continuum, and how the governments will address funding gaps for both parents and services.

Since 2019, ACA and ACA NSW have both been advocating for a national standardised starting age for school. Moreover, it has long been argued about the potential disadvantages of NSW children being eligible to begin school as early as 4 years and 6 months old.