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Planning changes to fast-track delivery of NSW’s largest expansion of public preschools

04 Apr 2024

The NSW Government is today fast tracking the largest expansion of public preschools in the state’s history, by cutting red tape to deliver 100 preschools co-located with public primary schools by 2027.

For years, key infrastructure projects particularly across Western Sydney have been unnecessarily delayed due to inefficiencies in the planning system accrued under the former Government.

To address this, the Government will change the Transport and Infrastructure State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) permitting new preschool buildings or preschools in existing buildings under complying development provisions.

Changes to this SEPP will permit the development of new preschool buildings, or allow preschools to operate in existing buildings at all NSW public schools without the need for development applications.

This will speed up the delivery of new preschools for families desperately in need by up to eight months.

These changes will enable the Department of Education to phase the delivery of 100 new preschools over the next three years, without concerns over delays through the planning process.

It comes as the NSW Government plans new public preschools including 51 across Sydney, with 49 of those in Western Sydney, South-West Sydney and North-West Sydney.

Some 49 preschools will also be built in regions outside of Sydney, including the Hunter and Illawarra, the South Coast, Mid North Coast, New England, Southern NSW, Northern Rivers, Far West, Riverina, South-West Slopes and Central West regions.

This historic $769 million investment in public preschools is part of the NSW Labor Government’s long-term plan to support young families.

The NSW Government has also committed $60 million to build and upgrade 50 preschools at non-government schools in areas of greatest need and has provided $17 million to support capital works for early childhood services in areas of need.

This is along with $29.4 million in funding to expand the number of early childhood workers in NSW through a major scholarship program, which continues to see a record number of applications.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education Prue Car said:

“All children deserve access to high quality early learning.

“Our record investment to double the number of public preschools in the state is an important step towards growing access to early education across the state.

“We are cutting red tape as part of our plan to deliver this historic expansion of public preschools to the families of NSW.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:

“The reforms to the planning system will make it quicker and easier to deliver public preschools in local schools.

“We are removing red tape in the planning system so that more children have the best possible start in their education journey.”