Families score win with no preschool fees for six months: Saffin
LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed the NSW Government’s offer to pay preschool fees for up to six months as a win for families, particularly those employed on the frontline during the COVID-19 crisis.
Ms Saffin said she and the NSW Labor Opposition had lobbied for the NSW Government’s $51-million funding package as the initial Federal Government package had a gap in it.
“This State package will help to cover the whole sector and it appears to be more comprehensive in its reach. I had also lobbied for Family Day Care who initially fell through the cracks,” Ms Saffin said.
“I note that the State Government is covering council-run child care, which is important during this period of uncertainty.
“My office has been communicating the welcome news about fee relief to local preschools in the Lismore Electorate and so far the response from directors has been positive.
“Parents on the Northern Rivers and Northern Tablelands are under a lot of pressure at the moment and it’s crucial for local families to continue to have access to early childhood education and care.”
The funding package will be available to 700 State-funded community preschools and 38 mobile services that provide care to 45,000 three to five-year-olds.
Community preschools which opt into this will be required to remain open so that families and children can continue to access their local preschool service.
This funding is in addition to the NSW Government’s commitment to maintain Start Strong funding for preschools based on service enrolments before COVID-19.
Ms Saffin said the fee relief package provided funding certainty for preschools for up to six months, ensuring teachers and educators can be confident of remaining employed.
“The early feedback I am receiving is positive but if preschools encounter any problems, they should contact my office via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone – 0266 213 624,” Ms Saffin said.