Queensland children are being given a flying start to success in life and learning through the department's commitment to ensure that every four-year-old in Queensland has access to a kindergarten program by 2014.
Queensland's strategy to achieve universal access to kindergarten includes:
In June 2010, the government announced plans to accelerate delivery of 40 extra kindergarten services originally scheduled to open in 2013 and 2014. These services will now open by the end of 2012, bringing the total number of extra kindergarten services to open by 2012 to 108.
A new kindergarten funding scheme has been introduced to ensure funding is directed to children and families in areas of greatest need. The new scheme includes a per child standard subsidy, as well as additional subsidies for services in socioeconomically disadvantaged and remote areas, and targeted support for low income families.
To support the early childhood education and care workforce, the first round of scholarships (each valued around $12 000) were approved under the Early Childhood Teacher Scholarships Program for existing early childhood staff to upgrade their qualifications.
In 2010-11 we will continue our work to establish a network of community hubs to provide integrated early childhood services.
Queensland parents now have greater and more transparent access to information that will enable them to make informed decisions about early childhood education and care services for their children.
From 1 February 2010, information about early childhood education and care services that repeatedly or seriously contravene the Child Care Act 2002 is able to be published on the Department of Education and Training's website. Parents are able to access information about the service, including the type of contravention, the action required to rectify the non-compliance, by when, and the date it was remedied.
Further amendments were passed which require licensed early childhood education and care services to keep and maintain a compliance history log book to record information regarding contraventions of the Child Care Act 2002. Parents and guardians are able to inspect any early childhood education and care service's compliance history log book.