Over 400 pre-selected childcare centres offering kindergarten programs will take part in the Kindy uplift pilot starting from term 2, 2022.
Announced on September 2, the Kindy uplift initiative is a leaf out of Victoria’s book, where the three-year-old kinder program was launched in selected centres last year.
In this blog:
Two years are better than one
Under Victoria’s program, families can access up to 15 hours of kinder each week for children who turn three before April 30.
Still in rollout stages, Victoria has been increasing the number of centres offering the program, with all centres able to offer at least five hours of funded placements in 2022.
The program is supported by the Mitchell Institute’s ‘Two Years are Better Than One’ report, which found nearly a quarter of Australian children begin school without the foundational skills they need.
The report states a child’s socioeconomic status plays a huge role in influencing their chances of success at school. These inequalities magnify as children progress through each year level.
According to the report, evidence suggests two years of pre-school education is one of the few proven strategies for improving outcomes for all children, especially for the children most likely to be developmentally vulnerable.
Launching Kindy uplift in Queensland
Queensland Minister for Education Grace Grace said Kindy uplift would target the children who need the extra support before beginning kinder and school.
“For example, funding could be used to introduce a wellbeing support program for kids who are doing it tough and will trial a model of additional resources and early support for kids who need it most,” Ms Grace said in her announcement.
“The Queensland Government is committed to ensuring all Queensland children can fully participate in a quality kindergarten program because we know this leads to improved life and education outcomes in the future.”
The three-year-kinder plan will support approximately 13,500 Queensland children, focusing on five key areas:
- Oral language and communication
- Processing information and responding
- Social and emotional capacity
- Access and inclusion.
Kindy uplift will provide resources, programming, support and professional development to upskill educators in the new program, with the end goal being to improve children’s learning and development before they transition into kinder at the age of four.
Queensland’s Department of Education will fund dedicated Kindy uplift coaches to work with centres to support them through the pilot program and map out how to use their funding.
Disadvantaged children will benefit most
Caroline Baum, Kindergarten Director of Kambu Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation for Health, says the benefits of Kinder uplift for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people will be lifelong.
“To offer a quality education and care program with dedicated and upskilled educators who are passionate about the child’s education journey and smooth transition progress, is a wonderful opportunity,” says Ms Baum.
The program is another boost to the education sector that makes a vital, ongoing contribution to building lifelong learning foundations for Queensland children. The Kinder uplift pilot will help the children who need the support most, to help them transition into higher levels of learning and continue to thrive.
“We have done excellent work in Queensland to achieve universal access to kindergarten and will continue to do all we can to help children get the most out of early childhood education,” Minister Grace says.
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The cost of safety
One thing that surprises many childcare operators is the cost of The Guardian entry system.
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