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Hunter to benefit from 12 new public preschools


From Booragul to Weston, and everywhere in between, the Hunter will benefit from 12 new public preschools in the region.

That’s the promise after the NSW Government revealed the biggest expansion in childhood education in the state’s history.

Labor will invest a record $769 million over the next three years to build 100 preschools across NSW.

It includes a dozen in this region co-located at Booragul Public, Cessnock Public, Ellalong Public, Gillieston Public, Kearsley Public, Kurri Kurri Public, Maryland Public, Nulkaba Public, Shortland Public, Tenambit Public, Teralba Public and Weston Public schools.

“The government is prioritising quality education in the early years, giving every child the best start for success,” Minister for the Hunter Yasmin Catley said.

“I’m delighted to see new public preschools will be delivered in the Hunter.

“Our region is growing and as Minister for the Hunter, it’s a priority for me that young working families are supported with equitable access to childcare.”

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.

It’s 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 and make the transition to school as seamless as possible,” Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said.

“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, which as a last-minute announcement made on the eve of an election, with zero consultation and no proper planning.”

Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison welcomed the news.

“This investment in pre-school education in the fast-growing area of Maitland is vital to preparing our children for success at school,” she said.

“It will be well used by local families in the Tenambit and Gillieston Heights areas.

 “This significant outlay gives our children that vital first step up in their education journey.”

Cessnock MP Clayton Barr echoed that sentiment.

“I am thrilled to see my local community will be gaining expanded access to public preschools,” he said.

“This is an incredible boost to the education of our youngest students and is a massive assist to families in the area who need every bit of support they can get, especially during this cost-of-living crisis.”

Lake Macquarie Independent MP Greg Piper agreed.

“Access to early learning is something we can all support,” he said.

“This historic investment will benefit young families across Lake Macquarie… and NSW.”

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