Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Education Directorate shapes and leads policy, funding, the regulatory framework and quality assurance processes for the early childhood education and care sector across NSW.

The NSW sector is the largest nationally and comprises around 5,000 services including preschools, long day care services, family day care services and outside school hours care, mobile, occasional and home-care-based services which provide early childhood education and care to over 380,000 children.

The directorate administers over $200m annually in state government grants to the early childhood sector including approximately $150m under the Preschool Funding Model. The directorate provides leadership and direction for the sector, regulates it under state and national law and oversights the implementation of the major reform, the National Quality Framework, which aims to improve the quality and consistency of early childhood education and care across Australia.

The directorate has a key strategic role in leading, influencing and negotiating state and national policy and reforms to maximise the resources and outcomes for children in early childhood education settings in NSW. It also has an important and growing strategic role in the broader education sector in leading and guiding the learning of children in the early years which is critical to future learning.

Tracy Mackey(Early Childhood Education)

Tracy Mackey is Executive Director, Early Childhood Education. She is responsible for the funding of early childhood education in NSW, for the formulation and implementation of policy on early childhood education and care, and for the regulation of the early childhood sector, which consists of over 5000 early childhood education and care providers. Tracy has a breadth of experience in social policy, strategy development and implementation, program delivery and stakeholder management and engagement. Tracy has worked at a senior level in the Commonwealth public sector, leading high profile policy and program areas. She has had particular experience in managing major reform agendas including the inaugural Protecting Australia’s Children COAG reforms as well as national health and hospital reform. Prior to joining the Department, Tracy was Executive Director, Strategy and Engagement with Life Without Barriers, one of Australia's largest not-for-profit organisations.