The Parenthood has welcomed the introduction of a new kindy funding scheme in Queensland which will offer 40,000 families free or cheaper kindy from 2023.
“The new kindy funding scheme in Queensland is more proof that 2022 is the year in which the significance of early childhood education and care is recognised and embraced by federal and state politicians across the political spectrum,” said Georgie Dent, the Executive Director of The Parenthood.
“All young children have the right to access high-quality early learning regardless of their postcode or the income of their parents, so it’s fantastic to see that vulnerable and disadvantaged Queensland families will get more support to access kindergarten,” Dent said.
On Sunday, Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace announced that roughly 14,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged Queensland families will get access to free kindergarten - saving each family about $4500 a year. A further 26,000 families will see a reduction of between $500 and $3500 a year on kindergarten costs.
Families can check their eligibility by answering a series of questions on the government's new Kindy Savings website.
“We welcome the offering of $38.5 million in funding by the Palaszczuk’s Government to attract and retain remote and regional early childhood educators,” Dent said. “The workforce crisis in the early childhood education sector is real and the announced funding boost for accommodation assistance and relocation costs for early educators is welcome relief.”
“After years of stagnation, we have seen a whole series of meaningful early childhood education and care reforms in the last six months - nationwide but also on a state level - that make us and all parents in Australia feel hopeful for a better future,” Dent said.
- Only last week, the Albanese Government announced in its first budget funding of $4.6 billion to increase the maximum child care subsidy and increase the number of families who can access the scheme.
- Also last week, the Victorian Government announced that, if re-elected, it will deliver $705 million to build and expand around 180 government-owned kinders as part of its $9 billion Best Start Best Life package.
- In the meantime, the New South Wales Government officially started its historic early learning reform package two weeks ago aimed at making early childhood education and care more accessible in the state. NSW will invest up to $5 billion in the sector over 10 years to support families with access to early learning.
“Early childhood education is the foundation of our society,” Dent said. “A comprehensive early learning policy is the pathway to progress on healthy child development and family well-being; educational outcomes; and gender and income equality. It’s good to see that more and more politicians acknowledge the importance of early learning.”