Additional funding for free kindy places is set to save Queensland families up to $4,600 per year.
The Queensland Government’s additional $645 million investment is making kindy free for all Queensland families from 2024.
Currently 14,000 children receive free kindy, and these reforms mean more than 50,000 additional children will be able to attend for free.
Benevolent Society Beaudesert Kindergarten’s Manager, Child Youth and Family, Marisa Phillips said families will be eligible for up to 15 hours a week of free Kindy for up to 40 weeks of the calendar year.
“If you are enrolled in a sessional kindy, that will mean you will have completely free fees for all children to attend for the whole of the school year,” she said.
“Anything above the 15 hours a week there will be an additional fee.”
Kindergarten is delivered in different ways at different services.
For some services, 15 hours of free kindy might be delivered over two or three days, with additional care paid for separately.
If a child attends kindy in a long day care setting, additional care may be covered in part by the Australian Government Child Care Subsidy.
Kindy is not compulsory in Queensland but is highly encouraged.
“The most important days of children’s lives are when we are trying to support children to have that transition to a formal education program.”
Having qualified Early Childhood Teachers in the kindy setting is essential and parents should look for the setting that will suit their family and their child.
“Kindy is important for children and parents to help with early identification and interventions for social, emotional and speech support,” said Early Childhood Teacher, Kirsty Norris.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said early years are critical to a child’s future.
“The evidence is clear: kindy counts. There are currently around 8,000 children who are eligible to attend a kindy but don’t, and it’s time to close that gap.”