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Early Childhood Education

2021 COVID-19 Free Preschool funding program for community and mobile preschools | Opt In

This is a preview of the COVID-19 Opt in - 2021 program form. When you’re ready to apply, click Fill Out Now to begin.

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2021 COVID-19 Free Preschool Funding Program | Opt in process


The temporary COVID-19 free preschool funding program has been extended throughout 2021 to continue to support families with cost of living pressures and to support the ongoing provision of 600 hours of early childhood education in the year before school.

Funding will be provided as a top up payment to replace a high proportion of estimated fee income. In turn, services are required to provide at least 15 hours of fee-free preschool per week for families.

Start Strong funding and mobile preschool contract funding provided by the NSW Government and support provided under the Australian Government’s JobKeeper program will be taken into account before any additional funding support is provided.

Please refer to the program guidelines for additional information.

For support with this program, please contact the Department’s Early Childhood Education Directorate on 1300 755 426 or


This form is to be completed by the Approved Provider on behalf of all eligible services for the entirety of the 2021 program. You do not need to complete this form for each eligible service.

Approved Providers who have opted in to the program during 2020 will need to opt in for the program in 2021. Services that did not opt-in to the program in 2020 are able to opt in to the program in 2021.

Services are able to opt out of the program by completing the relevant opt out process through SmaryGrants. The opt out must apply to a full term, and should be completed prior to payment for that term being progressed. Providers cannot opt in or out for part of a term.

Before you begin, you may preview this form via the menu on the left-hand side.

Once you begin the form, you may save your progress and come back to it at any time.  

Please refer to the program guidelines for additional information.

For support with this program and the opt-in process, please contact the Department’s Early Childhood Education Directorate on 1300 755 426 or