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NSW parents to receive free preschool for 6 months

Images: Getty

Families in New South Wales will be able to receive free preschooling for the next six months under a plan announced today by Premier Gladys Berejiklian. 

The $50 million funding boost will see preschool for all ages free for six months, with the state government pledging to cover the gap between the federal government’s preschool funding and actual fees childcare centres previously charged. 

Previous criticisms of the federal government’s free childcare plan centred around claims it would force childcare centres to offer their services for free, while receiving only government funding and no gap payments. 

“We're stepping up and paying the other half,” Berejiklian said. 

“That means child care centres run by local governments don't have to worry about the additional cost of keeping staff on and providing the vital services. That will cost us $82 million.”

She said she wanted to thank the state’s early childhood community over the “challenging time”, and that education and health experts are now discussing what term two for education will look like.

"We know that sector has been hit quite hard by COVID-19... This is all about making sure this is cost-effective for parents. We know how crucial early childhood education is," NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell added.

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