Quality early childhood education is one of the most important commitments parents can make for their children. It gives children a great start to their education and supports parents to go back to work or study and continue their careers.
Every child deserves access to quality early education and the opportunities this provides. This is why Council is committed to providing an affordable, high quality service to support our local families.
Earlier this year we announced that in line with State and Federal Government announcements, we would be providing free preschool and child care at our centres until the end of June to help families manage their budget during COVID-19. I am pleased to announce that this will continue for preschools until 28 September 2020.
Council provides close to 3,000 spaces with our children's services. This equates to more than 100,000 days of care. Providing high quality, low cost services means parents can spend time at work or study knowing their children are receiving the best care and early education in their lead up to school.
We are one of the few councils that provide early childhood education, employing 120 qualified teachers and support staff. Council invests more than $1 million per year in our child care services, and in 2020-21 we are planning to spend an additional $400,000 improving our centres.
Council operates 13 early learning centres and one mobile preschool, with prices starting from as little as $10 a day for eligible families. We also provide 10 supported playgroups and a Family Day Care scheme with up to 60 educators providing education and care from their homes across Fairfield City.
Our services have won a number of industry awards, including the Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards, and Fairfield Local Business Awards, with three of our centres currently finalists in this year's awards.
Council is also registered as an NDIS provider, which gives families with children under 12 access to speech pathology and occupational therapy through the Fairstart Early Intervention service.
Fairstart is currently a finalist in the NSW Local Government Excellence Awards in the Community Development and Services category.
Council will continue to invest in services that make a difference to the lives of people in our community. For more information on Council Children's Services, and to enrol for 2021, visit www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/cfs.