The NSW government has introduced two pre-school initiatives to help parents with pre-school rates. The move is seen as a response to Professor Deborah Brennan’s report that one in seven children do not attend pre-school due to the costs.
The funding is comprised of a $20 million fund to allow pre-schools to deduct rates for 4- and 5-year-olds for the rest of 2013, as well as a $5 million capital fund for pre-schools in remote areas, for construction of new locations.
It is expected that the $20 million fund will be allocated by the Government to community-based pre-schools this year. Following the distribution of funds, the pre-schools will then convert the money as savings to qualified families, or as rebates if they had paid already.
All NSW families with a child aged 4 or 5 by July 31, 2013, and who is enrolled in any of the 787 community-based pre-schools, qualify for a deduction.
The amount of Government funding for fee reduction to families will depend on where the pre-school is located, and on the rates charged by specific pre-schools. Different charges may apply depending on the school’s operational traits and profiles of the children. Parents in underprivileged areas will have greater reductions in pre-schooling fees.
The change will be implemented during Term 2 for the remainder of 2013.
The $20 million initiative will benefit families by reducing day-to-day rates from around $32 to $24, and offering bigger savings to lower-income families. Fees in Western Sydney will be reduced by up to 28 per cent; in Penrith by 3o per cent, in Blacktown by 31 per cent, and Campbelltown by 36 per cent, and reducing fees by up to 50 per cent in regional and rural areas.
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