FRASER WELCOMES ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR PRESCHOOLS IN THE COFFS HARBOUR ELECTORATE
The Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, has welcomed the additional funding for community preschools in the Coffs Harbour electorate from the beginning of next year, announced by the Education Minister Adrian Piccoli.
Mr Fraser said that based on enrolments reported by centre-based-services, community preschools would receive $300,000 in additional funding in the Coffs Harbour electorate under a new Preschool Funding Model.
Mr Fraser said the additional funding was part of a new funding model, which will make available $150 million to community preschools across NSW. This is a 20% increase on current funding.
Under the Preschool Funding Model:
- 95% of preschools will see an increase in their base funding rate
- the highest base funding rate will increase from $2,950 to $5,270
- the minimum base rate will increase from $1,250 to $1,805
- loadings for Aboriginal children aged 3 years or older will increase from $3,300 to $5,270
- preschools in remote areas will have a 45% increase in service loadings
- no service will receive less funding in the first two years
“The additional funding delivered through the new Preschool Funding Model will provide increased base subsidies for children aged four and five in their year before school and three year old children from disadvantaged backgrounds in the Coffs Harbour electorate,” Mr Fraser said.
“The Model will direct the highest increases to children from disadvantaged families, and will provide an additional year of access to three year old children from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, or from disadvantaged families holding Commonwealth low income Health Care Cards.”
Mr Fraser said that all services in the Coffs Harbour electorate will have time to transition to their new allocation over three years, with no preschool receiving less funding for two years as a result of these policy changes. A 50% transition amount will also be provided in the third year.
Operational support will be available to these services to help them increase their enrolments and benefit from the new, fairer funding system.
“The model coming in from the start of next year will target funding on a needs basis to deliver funding more efficiently and effectively,” Mr Fraser said.
“The changes will support the NSW Government’s aim of reducing average daily fees: this year’s $20 million initiative reducing fees for four and five year olds resulted in a 23% reduction in the average daily fee for these children, and once the new funding model is fully implemented the average fee for children in their year before school could drop even further.
“I am confident that the changes will result in a fairer distribution of preschool funding in the Coffs Harbour electorate, which will help to ensure that more children, including the most disadvantaged, can benefit from accessing preschool.”
KU Chief Executive Officer Christine Legg said that as NSW’s largest non-government preschool provider, KU Children’s Services supports this announcement.
“The government’s announcement ensures that preschool funding will be delivered to those families who need it most, while continuing to provide accessible preschool for all,” Ms Legg said.
“As a provider, the announcement of transitional funding also allows us to adjust to the new funding model over time, meaning none of the families currently enrolled within our preschools will be disadvantaged.”
The Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli said the changes are based on the recommendation of the Brennan Review, that access to early childhood education should be more effectively directed to four and five year old children in their year before school, and to Aboriginal and disadvantaged children.
Professor Deborah Brennan undertook the Review of NSW Government Funding for Early Childhood.
“The new model aims to meet the NSW State Plan target of ensuring that all children in NSW have access to preschool programs in their year before school,” Mr Piccoli said.
“Currently NSW is the only state that provides subsidised preschool to children of any age.
“Professor Brennan found that this needs to change.
“It is simply inequitable that some children have subsidised community preschool access for two or more years, while others have none at all.
“We have increased funding for community preschools thanks to our partnership with the Commonwealth Government and our shared goals for early childhood education.”
For those long day care providers who receive funding from the NSW Government current funding allocations will be retained.
25 October 2013
For media comment contact Andrew Fraser on 6652 6500.