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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson


    Minister for Education and Training
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson

    Monday, October 19, 2009


    The Bligh Government will fund long day care centres to provide kindergarten services for up to 9000 young Queenslanders in 2010.

    Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson said the funding was another step on the road towards universal access to kindergarten.

    “The Government is meeting its commitment to giving all Queensland children the flying start they deserve,” Mr Wilson said.

    “We want all children to have access to a quality early childhood education program delivered by a qualified teacher.

    “That’s why we are investing around $100 million in kindergarten services in 2010, including funding the long day care sector.

    “More than half of Queensland’s kindy- aged children attend long day care (LDC) centres.

    “Just seven percent of them are taking part in a kindergarten program taught by a qualified teacher.

    “We want to tap into this market by helping LDCs provide kindergarten programs as part of their service.

    “By introducing this funding to private sector LDCs we’re aiming to increase the options for parents who want to send their children to a kindergarten program.

    “We will pilot this funding in up to 100 long day centres from early 2010 and I am pleased to invite expressions of interest from long day care services to take part in this pilot.”

    Mr Wilson said this was the first time State Government funding had been offered to the long day care sector.

    “There’s no obligation for centres to provide a kindergarten program but those that choose to will receive $1200 for each eligible child to help offset the cost of providing this extra service.

    “Having a kindergarten program combined with the convenience of long day care will be great for working parents who want their children to access quality early education.”

    Childcare Queensland President Gwynn Bridge said the child care sector strongly supported the introduction of funding for kindergarten programs in long day care centres as a significant step forward.

    “The new kindergarten funding scheme recognises the long day care sector’s critical role in educating future generations of Queenslanders,” Ms Bridge said.

    “Our members provide long day care services for thousands of kindy-age children and many services are already well positioned to introduce kindergarten programs as part of the pilot next year.”

    Mr Wilson said the Bligh Government was also establishing up to 240 extra kindergarten services around the state, providing even more opportunities for parents to access kindergarten programs.

    “Most of these services will be co-located on school sites and run by C & K, a well respected, not-for-profit organisation with a proven track record in providing high quality early childhood education,” he said.

    C&K CEO Barrie Elvish welcomed the move and his Association’s role in delivering these additional kindergarten services.

    “As a Toward Q2 partner, we are glad to extend our relationship with the Queensland Government as the provider of kindergarten services co-located on state school sites,” Mr Elvish said.

    “We already support more than 350 services around the state and with only 29 per cent of kindy-age children currently participating in a kindergarten program, we support the Government’s move to help future generations of Queensland children to be better prepared for Prep.”

    Mr Wilson said funding arrangements for C&K kindergartens currently receiving State Government support will remain unchanged until 2011, when the new funding scheme takes effect for these services.

    “Under the new scheme, centres will receive a subsidy for each eligible-age child enrolled, with extra subsidies provided to address disadvantage,” he said.

    “An Industry Implementation Group will work with the Government to rollout the program and parents will be asked for their feedback through a Kindergarten Parents Round Table.

    “We know that early childhood education is critical, and we want to ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to be closely involved in the implementation of this unprecedented initiative.

    “Our investment in increasing access to kindergarten for 4 year olds is a separate initiative to the Federal Government’s national quality reform agenda looking to introduce Australia wide standards for early childhood education and care services.

    “Our initiative is about investing in the future of Queensland by providing more choice for parents who want their children to take part in a quality early childhood education program.

    “It’s also supporting and creating Queensland jobs.

    “Over time, this initiative will create up to 900 jobs for early childhood teachers and will support the wealth of experienced staff already in the industry and help them to upskill their qualifications to deliver kindergarten programs.”

    For more information on how long day care services can apply for funding, visit

    Media contact: Jo Crompton or Emma Parnell on 3237 1000

    19 October 2009