Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Queensland families now have greater access to kindergarten services with the Queensland Government announcing 19 new or extended kindergarten services will open across the state this year.
Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek officially opened one of Queensland’s newest kindergartens at Mango Hill in Brisbane today.
“This government is committed to providing all Queensland children with access to kindergarten programs so they can enjoy the lifelong benefits of quality early education,” Mr Langbroek said.
“Kindy offers quality play-based learning that builds children’s self-confidence, encourages physical abilities and develops literacy and numeracy skills and a love of learning.
“This is all part of our plan to boost frontline services for Queensland families.”
Mr Langbroek said the new $1 million centre operated by Mission Australia was built on the Mango Hill State School grounds and catered for up to 44 children in two groups of 22 attending five days a fortnight.
The children attending today’s opening were treated to a special surprise when entertainer and kindy ambassador Jay Laga’aia arrived and sang a new song that will feature in the “Say g’day to Jay” Kindy Roadshow announced by Mr Langbroek today.
To listen to the song go to: https://soundcloud.com/johnpaullangbroek/kindy-counts-performed-by-jay-lagaaia
“The Roadshow, featuring Mr Laga’aia, will highlight the benefits of participating in approved kindergarten programs,” Mr Langbroek said.
“It’s one of a range of strategies we’ve implemented to raise awareness of those benefits and to make kindy accessible to more children.
“The latest figures show kindergarten participation has trebled in Queensland from just 29 per cent in 2008 to around 97 per cent in 2013.
“This proves is that the strategies we have put in place over the last few years to lift kindergarten attendance rates are working.”
However, Mr Langbroek said there was still more to be done, especially in improving access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and for those from low socio-economic backgrounds.
“The Queensland Government is providing additional support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to ensure that cost is not a barrier to accessing a kindergarten program,” he said.
“Non-Government organisations in 14 locations across Queensland have received Pre-Kindergarten grants to support Indigenous children to make the transition from home to early childhood education.
“Grant funding of $1.2 million has also been provided to 11 organisations to help transport disadvantaged children and those in rural and remote areas to kindergarten.”
The Kindy Roadshow will visit Rockhampton, Blackwater, Emerald, Barcaldine and Longreach between 2 and 6 June.
Playgroup Queensland is a proud supporter of the Kindy Roadshow.