Stuart Ayres MP, Member for Penrith today joined Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell to announce that preschools in Penrith can apply for a share of a $10 million investment to improve the learning environment of their service.
The boost of funding is the second instalment of the NSW Government’s Quality Learning Environments program, which was introduced earlier this year to enhance the physical environment of community preschools.
Stuart Ayres said the Quality Learning Environments program has already seen strong take-up in Penrith.
“In the last round of Quality Learning Environments, over $45,000 was invested to upgrade the learning spaces of four local preschools, KU Penrith Preschool, Rainbow Cottage Childrens Centre, Grays Lane Childrens Centre and Tandara Childrens Centre” Stuart Ayres said.
Minister Mitchell said the NSW Government listened to feedback from the sector and broadened the scope of the program so funding can now also be used to cover specialised educational programs as well as the enhancement of the service’s physical environment.
“More than 400 grants across the state have upgraded their physical spaces, including playground renovations, carpet replacements and garden revamps,” she said.
“In this round, grants of up to $15,000 can be used for specialised educational programs and practices like music lessons, dance classes, or physical play activities along with physical enhancements like improvements to play areas or outdoor environments.
“We had a hugely successful take-up of the first round of Quality Learning Environments grants, so I look forward to seeing how community preschools utilise the next round of funding.”
This funding follows a suite of initiatives announced by the NSW Government this year in the early childhood education space, including the extension of Start Strong funding to cover two years of community preschool for our children, an additional investment of $42.1 million for more Capital Works Grants and Drought Relief Payments for services that are struggling.
All community preschools, including mobile preschools, are eligible to apply for the Quality Learning Environments grants.
Further information including application details is available on the Department of Education’s website.