Start Strong program


The Start Strong program makes funding available for New South Wales preschools and LDC services. The goal of the Start Strong program for all program is to ensure that all children across the country have access to 600 hours of quality preschool by the year before entering school. The funding is aimed at children aged 3 to 5 who live in low-income families.

Eligibility Criteria Start Strong program

Child eligibility criteria

To be qualified for this program, children must be:

  • At least 3 years old on or before 31 July in the year of enrollment in the preschool program.
  • Enrolled in an early childhood education program.
  • Not attending school.

Start Strong does not take citizenship or residency status into account when providing funding.

Service eligibility criteria

The department will evaluate any service requests for eligibility. To apply for grant funding under this program, the service provider must meet all the following criteria

  • The preschool service must be a not-for-profit.
  • It should be an early childhood education and care service that has been approved by the National Law and Regulation.
  • An application for funding under the Early Childhood Education Grants Programs must follow the Terms and Conditions.

Start Strong LDC funding requires that you list your LDC service on the Australian Government’s Child Care Management System.

Mobile preschools

The Start Strong program offers to fund mobile preschools that meet certain criteria. The Mobile Preschool Funding program provides funding for mobile preschools. So, those mobile preschools are not eligible for this funding.

More information on Start Strong program

  • Services must pass along a portion of their funding to families, by lowering their daily fees. Contact your child’s preschool for information on fees. Each preschool has its own fee structure.
  • Preschools do not have to reduce fees if they do not receive Start Strong funding.
  • To access funding based on enrolment, preschools must follow the Start Strong guidelines.

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