Wins for early learning and care in New South Wales through the 2023-24 Budget

Media Release

19 September 2023

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) welcomes significant investment from the New South Wales Government, announced in the 2023-24 Budget.

The Budget is focussed on affordability, workforce, and access to quality early learning and care, and provides important long-term certainty to the sector. The Budget commits to the $5 billion Childcare and Economic Development Fund, and $5.7 billion for universal preschool access – both long-term, 10-year investments – from the New South Wales Government.

ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death commended the Minns Government, and Deputy Premier Prue Car on the investment in the sector provided in the 2023-24 Budget: “This provides welcome and significant investment in early learning and care from the New South Wales Government, at a time when it is most needed”.

“Access to affordable, quality early learning and care, delivered by a qualified and valued workforce is the key to providing all children in New South Wales with the best start in life,” Ms Death said.

The Budget also invests $849 million in new early learning services, including:

• Fast tracking $769.3 million for 100 new preschools on public school sites, with ten sites announced yesterday, and the remaining 90 to be advised in early 2024.

• $60 million towards new and upgraded non-government preschools.

• Up to $20 million to support the growth of not-for-profit early childhood education services in high demand areas.

Further, $1.6 billion has been provided towards preschool fee relief including:

• trialling preschool fee relief for 3-year-old children in long day care, saving parents and carers $500 a year, from January 2024.

• $2,110 in fee relief for parents and carers of children aged four years and above attending preschool in long day care centres, and $4,220 per year in fee relief for parents and carers of 3-to-5-year-olds in community and mobile preschools.

Additional investments to develop capability in the sector and support the workforce are also warmly welcomed by ELACCA. This includes:

• $22 million over five years to recruit and retain essential early childhood workers including providing professional development and scholarships for tertiary education of early childhood workers.

• A trial to offer free or low cost ECEC for the children of ECEC teachers and carers.

• Up to $20 million for the Flexible Initiatives Trial to expand access to ECEC, extended hours and assist parents re-entering the workforce.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with the NSW Government and Department of Education to develop and implement practical solutions to recruit, retain and uplift our early childhood educators and teachers, and to improve access to quality learning and care across the state.” Ms Death said.

These reforms will help ELACCA progress its objective to lead exceptional early learning outcomes for Australian children, and aspire to:

  • progress the quality of early learning and care and outcomes for all children.
  • enhance the development and professionalisation of the early learning workforce.
  • improve equity of access to early learning for all children.


For more information please contact:

Sally Maddison

Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)

PO Box 348

Annandale NSW 2038

Mob: 0498 228 762

E: [email protected]

About us:

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) was established to promote the value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system. 

Our 19 CEO members include some of the largest early learning providers in the country, representing both not-for-profit and for-profit services. ELACCA members operate 1,984 long day care services, 310 preschool/kindergarten services and 92 OSHC services, covering every state and territory. They offer one-quarter of all the long day care places in Australia. Together, our members serve 369,776 children and their families, and employ more than 56,708 staff.

As well as promoting the value of quality early learning and the need for greater public investment, ELACCA advocates for the right of all children to access quality early learning and care, particularly children facing disadvantage. We do this by drawing on the knowledge and practical experience of our members and representing their views to decision makers in government, the media and the public.