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So far 143 services unhappy about NSW Government’s “free preschool” funding for 2021

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW recently circulated a survey asking services to register if they have been negatively affected by the NSW Government’s decision to extend “free preschool” funding to community/mobile preschools.


Already 143 services have registered. ACA NSW continues to engage with the NSW Department of Education and the NSW Minister for Education (the Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC) seeking solutions.



View Negatively Affected Services in a full screen map

Based on the feedback provided on 21 January 2021 by the NSW Department of Education (see attached), the following arguably are now occurring as the unintentional negative impact on long daycare services who also offer preschool programmes:


  • the NSW Government’s funding could provide for children free preschool for up to 1,440 hours per year (and not the originally announced up to 600 hours) for 3-5 years-old children;
  • in order for some parents to maximise up to 1,440 hours per year of free preschool, their children could experience multiple preschool environments per week rather than one that provides stability and consistency;
  • households regardless of their income appear eligible to receive the free preschool funding;
  • preschool participation per child may not be increasing, but instead children are shifting from a long daycare setting to community/mobile preschool setting; and
  • workplace participation of parent(s) may not increase/occur.


ACA NSW’s 3-week survey (see https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BWD6W59) will close at 11.59 pm this Friday, 19 March 2021.


ACA NSW will share a report with the NSW Government, ACA NSW members, survey participants as well as the sector in an effort to eliminate the unintended and negative impacts on long daycare services.


Should you need further information/clarification, please contact ACA NSW on 1300 556 330 or nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.


PUBLISHED: 17 MARCH 2021