The Government is helping young people get ahead in a changing world with initiatives to get the best start in life and support lifelong learning.
We are pleased to announce some very important programs to help the newest members of our State this year. Initiatives aimed at providing the best start in life include:
- investing in a landmark $156.5 million Parents Package to improve the wellbeing of new parents and their babies. Key initiatives in 2018-19 include:
- $9.3 million to provide up to 100 more midwives to support maternity service growth across the State
- $7.6 million for the NSW Baby Bundle, starting 1 January 2019, to provide new parents with essential items to assist in their child’s early health and development
- $7.6 million for additional support to new mums in the first months of their baby’s life, including extra nurse home visits, greater access to virtual home visits, five additional Family Care Centre Hubs in rural and regional locations, and increased services for pregnant women and mothers with severe and complex mental illness.
- ensuring every three or four year-old child in New South Wales is provided the opportunity to participate in early education with the continuation and expansion of the Start Strong program.
- The Government is investing $197.8 million over four years in key focus areas:
- ensuring universal access to two years of early childhood education for all three-year-old children from 2019 onwards – making NSW the first State in Australia to do so
- creating 4,800 new community preschool places in growth areas with $42.1 million in extra capital grants funding provided over four years.
- helping empower young people with $39.2 million over four years to replace and refurbish Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYCs) across New South Wales. This includes replacement clubs in Wagga Wagga, Walgett and Dubbo, a new club in the Windsor area and the upgrade of five regional clubs in Albury, Bourke, Griffith, Kempsey and Moree
- the new Creative Kids rebate will provide families with a $100 voucher per school-aged child, for extra-curricular activities including music, drama, visual and performing arts, coding and language classes. This will be complemented by the continuation of the Active Kids voucher, providing a $100 voucher for each student-aged child for use with registered sports organisations.
In addition, the 2018-19 Budget is helping to make skills training more accessible for students with:
- $285.2 million over six years to fund 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships to increase apprenticeship commencements and address skills shortages in areas of significant demand in New South Wales. This will be complemented by the NSW Government initiatives to promote apprenticeships through ensuring 20 per cent of trade roles on government projects are filled by apprentices
- investing $179.5 million in 2018-19 for TAFE NSW’s capital expenditure program, including the development of:
- TAFE Connected Learning Centres (CLCs) to provide students and employers across regional New South Wales with greater choice and access to learning opportunities, utilising digitally-enabled technologies to stay local while learning
- Mobile Training Units to support the CLCs with the delivery of training.