Start Strong Program

The NSW Government has introduced a new preschool fee relief program through the Start Strong Affordable Preschool initiative in 2023 as part of its $1.3 billion Affordable Preschool program from the start of 2023.

Families attending a preschool program at a long day care service will receive up to $2110 per year subsidy for every child, who is at least 4 years old, on or before 31 July 2023 and enrolled in a long day care preschool program.


To be eligible for the Start Strong Affordable Preschool fee relief program, a child will need to be at least 4 years old on or before 31 July 2023 and not be receiving the fee relief from another service.

All NSW families are eligible regardless of Citizenship or residency status. The Start Strong funding is additional to and will not affect families’ Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments.

How will it work?

The fee relief payment is an annual flat rate of $2110 per eligible child. You can break this down to a weekly fee relief of $40.57 ($2110/52 weeks) which will be applied to your family’s account as a fortnightly credit.

How do I access the fee relief?

If you are wondering how to claim the Start Strong Affordable Preschool fee relief, contact our Family Relations Team to receive the fee relief declaration form. Families are required to complete a declaration form to nominate the long daycare centre they would like to receive fee relief from.

You can only receive this fee relief at one centre at a time. This is confirmed by the completion of the declaration form.

What happens if my child is sick and does not attend the service for the day?

The fee relief is linked to enrolment not attendance. If your child is sick and does not attend on one of their enrolled days, your weekly fee relief amount does not change.

My child will leave the centre during the year. What will happen to the remaining fee relief?

If a child leaves our service part way through the year, they will only receive the prorate valued up until that time. The remaining balance is provided to a new incoming family. If this does not occur, then the centre can use it to support its preschool program.

Are families eligible for the Commonwealth Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and the fee relief?

Yes. The fee relief will have no impact on the amount of Child Care Subsidy families receive.

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