Have you been counting the cost of kindy and wondering if your family can afford it?
There are many benefits for a child that come from attending kindy in their formative years, and no child should be denied access based on finances, demographics, or ability. In the most significant reform to kindergarten funding in more than a decade, the Queensland government is investing $1billion over five years to reduce out-of-pocket costs and make kindy more affordable and accessible to Queensland families.
Here’s how your family could benefit…
Why kindy is important
90% of a child’s brain development happens in the first five years of life. As parents and carers, we want to give our children every advantage as they begin their educational journey.
Children from all cultural and social backgrounds and of all abilities can benefit from participating in an approved kindergarten program. Kindergarten provides children the opportunity to develop important social and physical skills in a play-based educational environment. At kindy, your child will build on skills they have learned at home as they interact with other children and educators.
You child will be guided to:
- form meaningful friendships and social connections
- develop a strong sense of identity and individuality
- become an effective communicator
- explore their world, different cultures, and environments
- work as a team, participating in decision making and conflict resolution
- enhance gross and fine motor skills through physical activity
- become familiar with learning concepts of literacy and numeracy in readiness for Prep
- develop a love of learning that will carry them through their school years.
In Queensland, children can attend kindy in the year they turn four years old before June 30. A child’s brain development is very active in this year, and kindergarten provides the right stimulus to help your child maximise their early-learning potential.
The kindy savings or Queensland kindergarten funding
With all the benefits kindy offers to a young child, a family’s financial or personal situation shouldn’t be a barrier to kindergarten access. From 1 January, 2023, the Queensland Kindergarten Funding will make kindergarten more affordable and accessible for families.
Who does kindy savings benefit?
Many Queensland families will see real savings in their kindy fees. For some families, kindergarten could be free. The scheme aims to make kindergarten accessible for all children, including:
- children experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage
- children with a disability or suspected disability
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children
- children undergoing medical treatment in hospital
- children of low- and middle-income families using community kindergarten services.
Improving a child’s educational outcomes through kindy can reduce educational disadvantage and open pathways to further education and careers that might otherwise seem beyond reach.
Giving children the best opportunity to realise their potential benefits everybody!
How do the kindy savings work?
Kindergarten fees vary depending on the service provider and factors such as location, care hours (full or part day, and number of days per week), and service inclusions. Your family’s eligibility for fee help and subsidies is also dependent on specific criteria. If eligible, kindergarten could be provided at low cost, or even no cost, as the Queensland Government pays the fees directly to your provider.
Determining your eligibility
Families and service providers can work out how much Queensland Government kindy funding a service provider will receive by visiting the kindy savings webpage. Visit www.qld.gov.au/kindysavings to find out how much cheaper kindy is for you.
Families can show this result to their chosen sessional kindergarten service or long day care service when talking about how much it will cost.
Choosing a kindy service for your family
Kindergarten is provided in many different ways, with options to support families’ differing requirements. If you thought a kindergarten program was beyond your family’s reach, you might be surprised.
Stand-alone kindergarten services
Stand-alone kindergarten services usually operate during school hours each term. They are generally not-for-profit organisations with a learning program delivered by qualified early childhood teachers.
Kindergarten in long day care services
Long day care services provide care for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers, with a kindy program delivered by qualified early childhood educators for children of eligible age.
Children who cannot easily access a kindergarten venue due to isolation, medical needs, or family reasons can access a comprehensive “at home” kindergarten program delivered electronically.
The Queensland Government is committed to making kindy more affordable and accessible to all Queensland children, regardless of their circumstances and location.
To learn more about the Queensland governments kindergarten program, visit earlychildhood.qld.gov.au/early-years/kindergarten.