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$500 off childcare bills for thousands of families

Families of up to 64,000 children are expected to benefit from the relief.

Kids at childcare and Australian money.
Thousands of NSW families will receive $500 per year off their childcare bills. (Source: AAP/Getty)

Thousands of NSW families will receive $500 off their childcare bills each year, as part of a new cost-of-living measure included in next week’s state budget.

Parents of three-year-olds in long day preschool programs will receive the $500 in fee relief per child, per year. This is expected to benefit families of up to 64,000 children in the state.

The government has committed $64 million to provide the daycare relief over an initial two-year period.

This will be the centerpiece of the government’s $100 million package for early-childhood education.


The budget will also include $20 million for a trial to expand access to early-childhood education and care, extend hours and assist parents re-entering the workforce.

There will also be $20 million to support new not-for-profit services in high-growth and regional communities, and $22 million over five years to recruit and retain early-childhood workers.

“Today’s announcement is an important step towards ensuring all children in NSW have access to early education,” Premier Chris Minns said.

“We know how important early education is to a child’s development. These are big reforms that will impact the way we deliver early education in NSW.”

‘Not going to stretch that far’

Melissa Falero, head of operations at Thrive Early Learning, said, while any funding from the government was welcome, $500 would only give families a small amount of relief.

“$500 is not going to go very far for many families. It might take off a little bit of burden for maybe a week or so but, ultimately, it’s not going to stretch that far,” Falero told Yahoo Finance.

Melissa Falero
Melissa Falero said the cost-of-living relief, while welcome, won't go far for families. (Source: Supplied)

While the cost of day care varies across the state, Falero said large chains could charge anywhere from $130 to $200 per day while, in the city, families could be looking at a minimum of $150 per day.

“Some families are really struggling and others are in a space where they are tossing up whether it’s beneficial to keep their child in early learning, and that really breaks our hearts because we can provide real, quality care for your children and a great start to life,” she said.

At the same time, Falero said businesses were navigating rent rises and wage rises and had to ensure their businesses remained viable.

Falero said there had to be a conversation about how the government could subsidise the wages of childcare workers.

“The real conversation has to be around wages because putting that burden back on businesses means businesses will put up their fees to combat that and then families are worse off.”

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