THE first day of school can often mean tears and some fear, stepping into the unknown, for our youngsters.
But that wasn’t the case in the Circosta household – youngest son Blair, three, was geared up and raring to go on his first day of preschool.
The only heartache for mother Jo was seeing her sons “growing up way too fast”.
“You don’t realise how quickly it happens,” Ms Circosta said.
“It feels like overnight, he’s gone from a little baby, to a little boy who’s all ‘I’m going to school, I need my shoes and my backpack’.
“He’s very confident, because his older brother [Ashton] went here, so he’s quite familiar with the place, so I feel quite relaxed about that.”
Blair was one of a number of children stepping-out on their first day of preschool at St Mark’s in Tamworth and facilities around the region.
NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell visited the South Tamworth preschool and said she wanted to make sure more services were affordable for families.
“We’re aware that affordability is a big factor when it comes to these services,” she said.
“In community preschools, which is the part of the sector we fund, we’ve increased spending every year since we’ve been in government.
“What that’s been able to do is deliver a reduction in fees.
“Last year, we saw fees drop on average by about 25 per cent per day.”
She hoped the federal government would have the same approach when their long day care package drops in the middle of the year.
“It’s something we discuss all the time as early childhood ministers, we need to make these services more affordable for families,” she said.
In the most recent budget, the state government announced a $10 million capital works grant program to create up to 700 new preschool places in areas of highest demand.
“The success of a child’s education on their last day of school is determined by their very first day of school,” Ms Mitchell said.
Many primary and secondary public school students will return to the classroom this week.