Cheaper kindy for 40,000 Queensland families

Published Wednesday, 23 February, 2022 at 10:18 AM


Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

More than 40,000 Queensland children a year are set to benefit from reduced price - and even free kindy - thanks to a more than $1 billion investment from the Palaszczuk Government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the kindergarten program funding overhaul was the most significant reform for the sector in more than a decade.

Over five years, the package includes:

  • $33 million to expand Kindy Uplift from 400 to 930 services
  • $38.5 million to help remote and regional services attract and retain early childhood teachers
  • And $95 million in support for families with children who have a disability

“The first few years of a child’s life are incredibly important and play a major role in their future,” the Premier said.

“That’s why we’re increasing our annual investment in kindy from $130 million to $211 million per year, which means more than a billion dollars will go into our kindy services over the next five years, with ongoing funding after that.”

The Premier said participation in kindergarten had gone from 29 per cent in 2008 to 96 per cent today.

“Kindy counts,” the Premier said.

“I want kindy in Queensland to not only be world class, but accessible and affordable too.

“The cost of kindy is a huge barrier for many children and a great burden for thousands of working families across the state.

“This reform will help change the lives of thousands of Queensland children and their families.”

Education Minister Grace Grace said the reforms would kick in at the start of 2023.

“Forty thousand children will benefit from reduced fees regardless of whether they attend a community kindergarten or kindy in a long day care.

“That means a family with one child in kindy could save up to $3200 per year. And a family with two children in kindy could save up to $6400.

“Fourteen thousand children will also be able to access completely free kindy: this will be for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in areas we know kids can miss out.

“Currently, around 20,000 children have reduced kindy fees, and a very small number of them receive free kindy, so this investment will benefit thousands of families.

“This is a significant change for the sector, and we’ll be working closely with providers in the coming months on things like software upgrades, contracts, and consultation with families to ensure they’re ready for the new program in 2023.”

Minister Grace said the package also included an expansion of the Kindy Uplift program, and extra funding for children with disabilities.

“We’re thrilled that this increased funding means we can more than double the number of services covered by the successful Kindy Uplift program to 930,” Ms Grace said.

“Kindy Uplift funding means services can invest in personalised programs so children can reach their full potential. For example, funding could be used to provide a dedicated support worker or professional development for staff.

“We will also invest more than $19 million per year to enhance support for families with children who have a disability or are developmentally vulnerable, so they can participate in either community or long day care kindies.

“In addition, eligible remote and regional community kindergartens and kindergartens in long day care will receive a funding boost to use on things like accommodation assistance and relocation costs to ensure they can attract and retain a qualified early childhood teacher.

“I am proud that this Palaszczuk Labor Government is delivering not only an increase in funding, but funding that is clearly targeted to assist those who need it the most.

“We’re investing in our youngest Queenslanders, we’re investing in our families, and we’re investing in our state’s future.”

The new kindy funding reform package is in response to the 2019 report; ‘Optimising outcomes for children: A review of early childhood education funding and arrangements in Queensland’.

Total investment in kindy from 2023-2024 will be $307 million. This includes the investment from the Australian Government.

Lady Gowrie Queensland CEO Louise Jackson welcomed the investment announced by the state government today.

“This announcement is monumental and a welcome relief for families and for the sector," she said.

“The funding package is fulsome and fundamentally about improving the lives of our children and investing in our future.

“I’m thrilled to be part of making history today – the government is taking the lead and putting our children first.

“Not only will families and children from across the state reap the benefits, the funding reforms also help support the capability and viability of our workforce to deliver quality kindergarten for all children.”

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Media contact:

Jack Harbour (Premier’s office) 0419 620 447

Kate Talbot (Minister’s office) 0439 803 211