13.2 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2021

Local preschools receive infrastructure grants

Latest News

Tweed Council to write to government for more housing support

With a shortage of affordable housing in most areas of the Far North Coast, it is not surprising that Tweed is also feeling the pinch and Council has declared a housing emergency in the area owing to a lack of availability and affordability.

Other News

No accountability for proven police misconduct

On Australia Day in 1998, I was the legal observer for the ‘Nude Ain’t Rude’ rally at Belongil Beach.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Byron Council formally opposes ‘Byron Baes’ TV show

Paul Bibby Byron Council will write to streaming giant Netflix stating its disapproval and opposition to the filming of controversial...

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Byron’s Back

‘Byron’s dead’. That’s the statement that I often hear. Or ‘I never go there anymore it’s lost’ or ‘Byron died years ago’. It always makes me feel a bit sad and defensive. I have such a love for this place, although I curse it when I get stuck in snaking traffic at 8am on a weekday morning or I can’t find a park near where I am going.

Holiday lets

David Wallace, Suffolk Park The following query was recently sent to NSW Planning Minister Mr Rob Stokes: On Friday, 9 April, 2021,...

Byron Bay Preschool. Photo Byron4Kids
Byron Bay Preschool. Photo Byron4Kids

Byron Bay, Lismore and Goonellabah preschools will benefit from recent NSW government infrastructure grants.

Parliamentary secretary for northern NSW Ben Franklin (Nationals) said the Start Strong grants will go towards constructing a new building at Byron Bay Preschool, a new room at Goonellabah Preschool and a purpose built flood resilient structure at Lismore Preschool.

He said, ‘The north coast’s future doctors, teachers and lawyers are being shaped in our preschools as we speak, so it really is an investment in the future of our community.’ 

The government press release claims that the grants build on their recent announcement ‘that preschool fees in NSW have reduced by an average of 25 per cent, following an historic investment of $330 million to ensure more children have access to 600 hours of quality, affordable early childhood education.’ 

But local NSW MP Tamara Smith (Greens) told The Echo, ‘The Start Strong funding is purely for infrastructure, so there is no evidence it will reduce fees.’

‘NSW spends the lowest amount per child – as a percentage of state expenditure; NSW has the lowest proportion of spending in the country at 0.4 per cent.’

‘Parents in NSW have to pay more than any other state to access preschool services, so it’s no wonder we also have the lowest participation rate and lowest attendance rate in preschool for children in the year before starting school.

‘The government is aiming for 15 hours per week at preschool in the year before school, when most children are aged four, but many other countries have free, full-time early childhood education for two years before school – so NSW is a mile behind.

‘We have a lot of ground to make up, and providing infrastructure grants alone will not address the extent to which our children need to catch up to their peers in other states and other countries.

‘We should be investing in educators and working towards universal free access to quality early childhood education in the two years before primary school.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Simon Richardson steps down as Byron Shire Mayor

In an eventful day for Byron Shire Council, pot-stirrer Fast Buck$ was ejected from the council chambers yesterday and later Cr Simon Richardson announced that he will be stepping down as mayor from the end of next week.

Pay parking for Lennox Head?

Yesterday's Ballina Shire Council meeting saw councillors raise the spectre of paid parking at Lennox Head, and possibly elsewhere in the shire.

They will not be forgotten…

In the wake of the pandemic restrictions, ANZAC Day will be commemorated in a COVID safe fashion and some areas will ask residents to...

East Ballina Lions desperately needs new members

East Ballina Lions Club has given over thirty years of service to numerous community programs and initiatives, but if it doesn't get more members soon, it will have to close.