Queensland children in rural and remote areas go ‘face-to-face’ for first time
More kindergarten-aged kids in rural and remote Queensland communities will go to new ‘face-to-face’ kindies for the first time next year following an announcement made by Education Minister Grace Grace yesterday.
The Queensland Government will deliver on its $12 million election commitment to expand remote kindergarten in schools initiative to 20 more schools from Mount Garnet in the Far North of the state to Thallon near the New South Wales border.
“Many rural and remote families currently don’t have a kindy service close to where they live and this will ensure that more kids can access quality kindy, no matter where in Queensland they live,” Ms Grace said.
“We know the benefits that flow from kindergarten in giving our kids a great start,” she continued.
“Kindy helps improve children’s literacy and numeracy skills, social skills and prepares them for school. All the research shows the benefits that also flow later in life in terms of improved school results, and better health and employment prospects.”
The news was welcomed by Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association president Louise Martin who said it was “great to see more state delivered kindergarten services for our rural and remote families.”
Four hours west of Roma, Tambo parent Carroll Abel is a remote kindergarten enthusiast after seeing the difference the Tambo State School remote kindy is making for her second daughter, Harriet.
“She’s becoming familiar with the school, the expectations of being in a learning environment, and having to listen to someone other than her mother for the first time,” Ms Abel said.
“It is fundamentally changing education for these kids.”
The 20 new schools that will have remote kindergartens from next year are:
- five central Queensland schools: Nagoorin, Orion, Anakie, Wowan and Westwood State Schools
- three Burnett region schools: Proston, Lowmead and Wartburg State Schools
- nine Darling Downs and south-west schools: Karara, Lundavra, Mungallala, Dulacca, Talwood, Kogan, Yelarbon, Thallon, and Wallumbilla State Schools
- three north and far north schools: Mount Garnett, Prairie and Abergowrie State Schools.
Remote kindergartens began in 2016 at 38 schools, with 69 rural and remote state schools currently providing kindy. More than 800 children have attended remote kindergarten statewide since it started, including nearly 170 currently registered.
These were established in schools where there is no other kindergarten service within a 50 km radius. The 2022 expansion extends eligibility to schools where there is no kindergarten within 40 km.
For more information about remote kindy in Queensland please see here.