By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
As a father of three I understand the pressures of balancing work and family and how important it is for working parents to have access to before-and-after-school care.
This week I joined the NSW Minister for Early Childhood Leslie Williams at Mother Teresa Primary School at Westmead where we announced $20 million grant program to create more before-and-after-school care places.
The grant program is open to government and non-government schools that have the ability to set up an out of school hours care facility. Schools are encouraged to apply online for grants of up to $20,000 that can be used to help cover the costs associated with setting up a new care facility, such as fit-outs and equipment. Schools will also be eligible to use the funding to establish a care facility that can be run by their P&C, a not-for-profit or commercial provider.
We have established this $20 million grant program with the aim of creating an additional 45,000 before-and-after-school care places to ease the pressure on working mums and dads. Having the option of care can mean the difference between working or not working for many parents in Western Sydney, which is why we are committed to creating more places.
The NSW Government is encouraging schools that don’t have an out of school hours care option to apply for funding. Grants will be distributed as early as October and the first services will be up and running for the first day of term one next year.
In other news, we promised to create 150,000 new jobs over the next four years during the election campaign and this week we announced the establishment of a new body to oversee the creation of these jobs.
Former Telstra CEO David Thodey has been appointed the inaugural Chair of Jobs for NSW, which is essentially an initiative that will be led by the private-sector and will work with the government to attract and retain businesses in NSW. It’s an approach that hasn’t been taken before in NSW designed to leverage the expertise of some of our best business minds to drive investment and create jobs.
Taking this approach will ensure our economy remains strong and prosperous and allow it to prepare for the future by keeping in touch with trends in innovation and workplace changes.
In four short years we’ve turned NSW around from having the slowest to the strongest jobs growth in the nation. Jobs for NSW will ensure NSW stays on top as Australia’s economic powerhouse.
Finally, we have a great culture of innovation in this state and have many great scientists and engineers, many of whom have been behind cutting edge research that has led to economic, health, environmental, social and technological benefits for NSW.
These achievements deserve to be recognised and celebrated and I encourage anyone to enter or nominate someone for this year’s inaugural Premier’s Prizes for Science and Engineering.
Up to $100,000 in prizes will be awarded as part of these awards, including $55,000 for the NSW Scientist of the Year. For more information please visit: http://www.chiefscientist.nsw.gov.au/premiersprizes