The department operates 100 preschools that are located within public schools. They provide educational programs for children for the year before Kindergarten.

Going to a government preschool
Non-government preschools

There are many other types of preschools. These could be run by local government, community-based organisations or the private sector.  The information in this section relates to department's preschools, but to find out about non-government preschools follow the links in the right column.  


Preschools in public schools provide educational programs for children one year prior to enrolment in Kindergarten. A child may be eligible for enrolment in preschool from the beginning of the school year if they turn four years on or before 31 July that year.

Learning at preschool

The department provides an early childhood trained teacher and a teacher's aide in each preschool class. The teacher plans an educational program that nurtures each child's self esteem, wellbeing and development.

The preschool program is designed to stimulate children's thinking, communicating, investigating, exploring and problem solving skills. Your child is encouraged to join in physical activities and to develop good health and safety habits.

The program includes play-based activities that help children learn how to interact positively with other children and to recognise and accept their own feelings and those of others. The program also supports the development of early language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Generally, the department's preschools operate during school hours. Attendance patterns are determined according to the needs of the local community. Some preschools offer a half-day session, with children attending either five mornings or five afternoons per week. Other preschools provide full day attendance for two, three or five days per week.


Copyright for this website is owned by the State of New South Wales through the Department of Education. The Department of Education supports and encourages the dissemination and exchange of publicly funded information and endorses the use of the Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL) ( Copyright material available on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence ( This allows you to share and adapt this material for any purpose as long as attribution is given to: © State of New South Wales (Department of Education) 2015.
For more information go to