New South Wales are significantly behind the rest of the country in ensuring all 4 year olds can access and attend preschool. However, they are ahead of the curve with the proportion of 3 year olds attending programs delivered by early childhood teachers.

Key facts

  • 79 per cent of 3 year olds are enrolled in ECEC (in Long Day care, sessional preschool and Family Day Care)
  • 38 per cent of 3 year olds are enrolled in preschool programs
  • 86 per cent of children are enrolled in preschool programs in the year before school
  • 58 per cent are attending for 15 hours or more (noting data is collected in a reference week and is likely to under-estimate actual attendance across the year)
  • The majority of children in NSW attend preschool in long day care settings, although there is also a strong community preschool sector in NSW
  • Total per-child expenditure in NSW is around the national average

Proportion of 3 year olds enrolled in all ECEC and preschool

 Graph – content of the graph is outlined on this page, under the heading 'graph text alternative'

Graph text alternative:

Graph showing the proportion of 3 year olds enrolled in all ECEC and preschool. The data shows that in NSW, 79% of 3 years olds are in ECEC and 38.2% of 3 year olds are in preschool. By comparison, Australia-wide 66% of 3 year olds are in ECEC and 21.3% of 3 year old are in preschool.

Fact sheets in this series