Palaszczuk Government makes Kindy free for families
Published Tuesday, 13 June, 2023 at 07:45 AM
Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
- Kindy will be free for every Queensland family thanks to a $645 million budget boost
- The program is set to save families around $4,600 per year
- The initiative is expected to see a further 50,000 Queensland kids benefit from free kindy.
The Palaszczuk Government is making kindergarten free for all Queensland families from 1 January 2024.
The Premier today announced the $645 million investment which will help every Queensland child get a great start in life and support parents in their return to work.
Currently 14,000 children receive free kindy, which is a 15 hour a week government approved educational program that children can attend the year before they start school.
These historic reforms mean more than 50,000 additional children will be able to attend for free.
Free kindergarten is set to save families around $4,600 per year, putting money back in the pockets of mums, dads, and carers where it’s needed.
Queenslanders were asked what they thought about free kindy last month, which saw over 6,400 people responding to the survey.
98% said free kindy would help them and their family.
The additional $645 million will take the total investment in kindergarten to $2 billion over four years.
It includes increasing the funds to attract and retain a quality workforce to $120 million, with a portion specifically dedicated to getting staff to kindy services in regional and remote areas by providing things like relocation expenses and accommodation assistance.
The successful Kindy Uplift program, which provides targeted resources and professional development to services where children are more likely to experience disadvantage, will receive a $20 million boost to make a total of $112 million over the next four years. The number of services benefiting will grow from 930 to 2,000.
There is also an extra $15 million to boost support for children with disability and additional needs, taking the total to $91 million.
Quotes attributable to the Premier:
“I asked Queensland what they thought about free kindy and we have listened.
“Today’s announcement is a historic investment in Queensland children, their families and our state’s future.
“This investment will put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of families at a time when we know people are doing it tough, and support parents getting back into the workforce.
“There are currently around 8,000 children who are eligible to attend a kindy but don’t, and it’s time to close that gap.
“This initiative is another example of the Palaszczuk Labor Government doing what we do best – delivering for Queensland families.”
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Cameron Dick:
“I said this budget would deliver real cost of living relief for Queenslanders, and free kindy is going to save more than 60,000 families thousands of dollars every single year.
“It’s also going to help parents - particularly women - back into the workforce, which will have a significant economic impact too.”
Quotes attributable to Education Minister Grace Grace:
“I am incredibly proud to be the Education Minister that’s bringing free kindy to Queensland.
“This is going to change the lives of thousands of children and families every single year.
“The kindy reforms that came into force earlier this year made kindy free for 14,000 families and cheaper for another 26,000.
“I have travelled around the state to hear from parents and services directly and read the responses to our survey. It’s clear free kindy makes a massive difference and that’s why we’re making it happen for every family in our state.
“The funding also includes vital and ongoing investment to attract and retain a quality early childhood workforce, particularly in regional and remote areas.”
Ongoing funding is committed beyond the forward estimates to ensure kindy remains free for everyone. The government will now work closely with the sector so they are ready for the expected higher number of enrolments in January 2024.
Kindy is a government approved educational program for children in the year before Prep. It is 15 hours per week, 40 weeks per year. Your child can start kindy in the year they turn 4 years old by 30 June, which is the year before they start school.
Children will benefit from free kindy regardless of whether they attend a community kindergarten or kindy in a long day care. The total amount a family will save depends on where and how they attend kindy. Service providers will need to opt into the program.
The vast majority of kindy in Queensland is delivered by private providers. There are around 130 state delivered kindies where no other service is available, with around 850 children attending. There are also around 150 children attending eKindy in the most remote areas.
MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Talbot - 0439 803 211