QLD and NSW follow Victoria and confirm free Kindergarten for Term 2
Following on from Victoria’s commitment to provide free sessional kindergarten for Term Two, both Queensland and New South Wales have made similar commitments, with QLD also committing to a ‘fee free’ Term Two and NSW going one step further and committing to a six month fee free period.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszszuk unveiled a package for community kindergartens that will see a total of $17 million provided to support 465 sessional kindergartens, including 128 in regional areas, across the state.
The package, which will come on top of existing kindergarten funding arrangements, and will cover wages and on-costs for an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) and an Assistant ECT required to deliver a kindergarten program for the 10 week duration of Term 2.
The package also includes a waiver of regulation fees and changing guidelines to enable services in rural and remote locations to receive the payment even if they do not have access to an ECT.
Queensland Minister for Education Grace Grace said “Community kindergarten has been part of Queensland for over 100 years and we want to ensure that a strong kindergarten sector can continue to operate to support families and children, including children with disabilities during COVID-19.”
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian also confirmed a package for state funded kindergartens/preschools with a new $51 million funding commitment.
The funding will be made available to 700 state funded kindergartens/preschools and 38 mobile services that educate and care for up to 45,000 three to five year olds and will be in addition to the funding received through the state’s existing Start Strong program.
The services will be required to remain open in order to be eligible for the funding stream.
NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said “Preschools and council childcare centres will now have the peace of mind that they will be financially viable, and parents will benefit from the relief of not having to pay any fees.”
Both announcements come in the wake of Victoria committing $45 million to funding community-based, local government and school providers of sessional kindergarten for the duration of Term Two so parents can send their children for free last week.
To read the NSW announcement please click here.
To read the QLD announcement please click here.
To read the VIC announcement please click here.