START STRONG: Ensuring a safe environment in the early years of education is vital to the learning process.
START STRONG: Ensuring a safe environment in the early years of education is vital to the learning process. Lisa Musico

Funding available for Coffs Coast early education

REGIONAL preschools may now apply for a share of $15 million made available by the NSW Government to support early childhood education.

Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser said the money has the dual purpose of making certain children have the safest and most engaging learning environments in their formative years while helping to increase the number of children attending preschools.

"This funding could cover items like new play equipment to encourage a child's hand-eye coordination, replacing bark with soft fall in the outdoor play area to reduce risk of injury or new air conditioning to give children a more comfortable learning environment,” he said.

The grants come from the new $10 million Quality Learning Environments fund and the $5 million Capital Works Grants fund, both a product of the $332 million Start Strong program which has been extended until 2021.

Data from the 2017 Community Preschool Census shows not only have average daily fees reduced by 25 per cent since the implementation of Start Strong in 2016 but the number of children attending 600 hours of preschool has increased by 40 per cent.

For information visit education.nsw.gov.au/early-childhood-education