Every child in Bonner who is about to start school will benefit from $1340 as part of the Morrison Government’s $2 billion commitment to ensure every Australian child can attend kindergarten.
The Commonwealth is offering new four-year agreements to states and territories, including $352 million for Queensland school years 2022-2025.
- The $1340 per child will need to be passed on for every child, regardless of whether they attend ‘kinder’, ‘preschool’ or a kindergarten program at a centre-based day care.
- From 2024, states and territories will need to set and meet attendance targets agreed to by all jurisdictions.
- The Commonwealth will work with states and territories to develop and implement a kindergarten outcomes measure.
The funding would provide greater certainty for the kindergarten sector and benefit around 62,000 children attending kindergarten in Queensland next year.
The current Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) gives children access to 15 hours of kindergarten per week (600 hours per year), but only 72 per cent of children make full use of the available hours.
Attendance rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children (60 per cent) and disadvantaged children (66 per cent) are even lower.
Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP welcomed the funding, saying the reforms would benefit all local children attending kindergarten.
“Bonner is a fantastic place to raise a family and its essential we are supporting our young families by providing access to quality kindergartens,” Mr Vasta said.
“This week I had the pleasure of visiting Lead Childcare in Tingalpa where I caught up with the centre manager Krissy who was very pleased with this announcement. It was great to hear positive feedback from someone with extensive experience in this sector as well as a passion for fostering an environment where wonderful levels of learning and care for our children takes place.
“Children who fully engage in kindergarten and early education are generally better prepared to start school, and enjoy better educational outcomes.
“The Australian Government’s partnership with Queensland has seen continuous improvements to kindergarten enrolments, but enrolments alone do not produce outcomes – participation does.”
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said it was the first time a federal government had committed to ongoing funding for kindergarten.
“This is a significant reform that will mean children in Bonner are better prepared for school, can get the most out of their early years of learning, and ultimately achieve more in the long-term,” Minister Tudge said.
“Regardless of where a child gets their kindergarten education, they will benefit from the Federal Government’s $1340.
“These reforms will boost the quality and impact of kindergarten education in Australia.
The new agreements would be linked to reforms that lift kindergarten attendance and school readiness.
The funding brings the Morrison Government’s total investment in early childhood education and care to $3.3 billion in the 2021-22 Budget, including $1.7 billion to improve affordability of child care for families with multiple children aged five and under.