Free NSW pre-kindergarten year to start

A landmark program introducing universal free childcare the year before NSW children start school will be rolled out next year, with "childcare deserts" the first to benefit.

Premier Dominic Perrottet says families in Mount Druitt in Sydney's west, Wagga Wagga in the Riverina, Kempsey and Nambucca in the north, Bourke in the far west, and Cobar and Coonamble the central west will be first to get on board with the program.

Early childhood services in the seven locations will begin rolling out the first stage of the universal pre-kindergarten policy early next year, with interested providers urged to register now.

The $5.9 billion 10-year investment in universal pre-kindergarten was the centrepiece of the NSW 2022-23 budget, and was touted as a way to get women back into the workforce and tackle the gender pay gap.

The government promised places would be created in Sydney's west, southwest and regional NSW, where there is less than one childcare placement for every three children.

The premier says more locations will be added ahead of the state-wide implementation of a full new year of education for children by 2030.

The scale of the program was unprecedented in Australia and would "benefit our youngest learners' physical, cognitive, social and emotional development", he said on Monday.

"This is a life-changing investment that the NSW government is delivering to ensure our children benefit from a full year of quality preschool education at no cost to parents," Mr Perrottet said.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell says families and services in the first stage will help shape the rollout of the initiative across the state.

"This first stage of universal pre-kindergarten will allow us to gather crucial information ahead of implementation of the program across the NSW," Ms Mitchell said.

"We are continuing to work collaboratively with families, peak bodies, service providers and schools to develop the best model of universal pre-Kindergarten for NSW."

Workshops for eligible providers will be held in pilot regions during November and expressions of interest will close on December 16.