Lady Gowrie Queensland welcomes free kindy
Today’s announcement from the Queensland Government that kindy will be free for 14,000 vulnerable children and cheaper for 26,000 children is monumental and a welcome relief for families and the early childhood education and care sector.
CEO Louise Jackson said the funding package of $1 billion over five years was fulsome and fundamentally about improving the lives of children and investing in the future.
“Currently very few families receive free kindy and about 20,000 across Queensland have reduced fees.
“I’m thrilled to be part of making history today. The Government is taking the lead and putting our children first.
“Not only will families and children from across the state reap the benefits, but the funding reforms will also support the capability and viability of our workforce to deliver quality kindergarten for all children,” Ms Jackson said.
The Government’s five-year package which starts next year includes $33 million to expand the Kindy Uplift program from 400 to 930 services, targeted to children who need specific help with skills like social and emotional capacity, physicality, thinking and responding, oral language and community and access and inclusion.
Ms Jackson said $38.5 million to help regional and remote services attract and retain teachers including relocation costs and accommodation assistance was a welcome response to the national shortage of early childhood teachers and recognition of the particular challenges of providing quality services in regional and remote Queensland.
The funding package also includes an additional $95 million to support families of children with a disability to attend a community kindy or long day care.
“Lady Gowrie Queensland looks forward to continuing to provide quality early childhood education and care services to children across the state.
“Today’s announcement helps families with lower costs and better access, helps services attract and retain staff and importantly recognises the value of quality education in the early years of a child’s life.”