NSW Government to support early childhood services to trial longer hours and expanded care


Working families across NSW are set to benefit from more access to early childhood education and care, including new programs, longer hours, weekend operating hours and additional places, as part of a new $20 million program.

The Flexible Initiatives Trial (FIT) aims to address parents’ barriers to workforce participation, particularly for women, by supporting early childhood services to adapt their offerings and hours where a local community need is identified.

Some 16 early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across metropolitan and regional NSW will receive more than $2.8 million in funding as the first round of successful applicants is announced.

Examples of the family-friendly benefits can include:

  • extending hours of operation beyond traditional working hours
  • providing flexible pick-up and drop-off times
  • giving families the ability to make occasional or ad hoc care arrangements
  • establishing new family day care services in rural and remote areas
  • partnerships between two different service types to provide extended or wraparound care.

Successful applicants through this round include Plumpton Long Day Care & Preschool, where an early intervention preschool program is now being developed and the number of licensed places is being increased by 10.

According to data from the Australia Early Development Census, there is a large number of high needs children in the Plumpton area, and the service is developing an early intervention program that will complement its existing preschool program.

Other successful applicants include Possum Early Childhood Centre in Hazelbrook extending their operating hours by 3 hours each day, Clarence Community Preschool in Grafton who will begin offering services on Saturday and Sunday, and The Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education Centre in Armidale, which will expand their service by 50 new places to provide University of New England staff, students and members of the public with increased work and study options.

A full list of successful Round 1 trial applicants is below.

This is just part of the NSW Labor Government’s long-term commitment to support children and young families in the early years, which includes an historic $769 million investment to build 100 new public preschools in NSW, which is the largest investment in public preschools in the state’s history.

We have also committed $60 million to build and upgrade preschools at 50 non-government schools in areas where they are needed most, and $17 million to support capital works for early childhood services.

The NSW Government is also growing the number of early childhood workers through a major scholarship program, which continues to see a record number of applicants.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

“Every child in NSW deserves to start school with strong educational foundations, and we know early childhood education is vital in setting young children up for success.

“This trial is supporting existing services to expand their offerings and respond to the needs of their local communities.

“This will look different in different areas across the state, with more flexibility and expanded offerings, which is a great outcome for parents and our youngest learners.”

The 16 services to receive grants are:

  • Little Genius Cottage, Chifley
  • Possum Early Childhood Centre, Hazelbrook
  • Nurture and Grow Early Learning Centre, Miranda
  • Dee Why Children’s Centre, Dee Why
  • Plumpton Long Day Care and Preschool, Plumpton
  • Tyndale Early Learning Centre, Blacktown
  • Diocese of Broken Bay Early Learning Centre, Forestville
  • Bundgeam Preschool, Kyogle
  • Bowral Street Childcare, Bowral
  • Denison Street Early Learning Centre, Tamworth
  • Menindee Children’s Centre, Menindee
  • Federal Community Children’s Centre, Federal
  • Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education Centre, Armidale
  • Clarence Community Preschool, Grafton
  • Yamba Early Learning Centre, Yamba
  • A new family day care service, to be run by Bega Valley Family Day Care.

/Public Release. View in full here.