19 February 2024

Illawarra families are set to benefit as the NSW Labor Government reveals the biggest expansion in childhood education in NSW history.

The NSW Labor Government is investing a record $769 million investment to build 100 new public preschools across NSW, including six in the Illawarra.


New public preschools to be built in the Illawarra:

  1. Berkley West Public School
  2. Cringila Public School
  3. Lake Heights Public School
  4. Hayes Park Public School
  5. Lake Illawarra South Public School
  6. Barrack Heights Public School

Co-located at public primary school sites, the new public preschools will be built over the next three years in areas of greatest need across NSW.


After more than a decade of decline in education outcomes, the NSW Government will prioritise quality education in the early years, giving every child the best start for success.


The public preschools will improve access for families across NSW, with sites selected by a NSW Department of Education Panel, overseen by an independent chair and probity advisor, based on rigorous assessment criteria which considered educational need, child development and socioeconomic data, preschool demand, infrastructure feasibility and insights gained through consultation.


Co-locating public preschools with existing schools will ensure children are ready for kindergarten and will assist busy working families with cost-of-living pressures, help avoid the double drop off, make the transition to school as seamless as possible.


The NSW Government’s election commitment to deliver 100 public preschools is in sharp contrast to the Liberal and Nationals’ unrealistic claim it would build 500 preschools– a last minute announcement made on the eve of an election, with zero consultation and no proper planning.


This is part of the NSW Labor Government’s historic investment in early childhood education, which includes a $60 million commitment to build and upgrade 50 preschools on non-government school sites in areas of greatest educational need. The NSW Government has also committed up to $29.4 million to expand the number of early childhood workers in NSW through a scholarship program, which has seen a record number of applications. The Government has also provided $17 million to support capital works for early childhood services in areas of need.


Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:


“Our Government is dedicated to providing equitable access to high quality early education across NSW, so children across the state can get the best start in life.


“I am delighted that the NSW Labor Government will deliver 100 new public preschools, including these new preschools in the Illawarra.”


Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast Ryan Park said:


“This significant commitment by the NSW Labor Government will make a real difference to young families bringing up children in the Illawarra.


“I am so proud to be a part of a government which is prioritising equitable access to early childhood education.”


Member for Wollongong Paul Scully said:


“The addition of four public preschools in some of the most disadvantaged suburbs in Wollongong is a great boost to the education and future of local students.


“This direct investment in support for local students by the NSW Labor Government will give more kids in Berkeley, Lake Heights, Cringila and Kanhooka the best possible start to their education and a strong foundation for their future.”


Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said:


“This fantastic announcement will bring so much joy to the Shellharbour community.


“There are many young families in our local area, and it is fantastic that these new preschools are being built where local communities need them most.”