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Other early years initiatives

Strategy: Achieve greater integration of infrastructure and service delivery planning responsive to community needs

As part of the Queensland Government's commitment to providing universal access to kindergarten, the department is committed to ensuring that children in disadvantaged communities are provided with the opportunities to participate in a kindergarten program.

In 2008, COAG agreed to the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement to contribute to achieving its targets to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. To ensure all Indigenous children have access to a quality early childhood education program within five years, the Commonwealth, state and territory governments will establish at least 35 children and family centres around the country, including 10 in Queensland.

In addition, the Queensland and Commonwealth governments have increased access to long day care for children from birth to school age through the establishment of Early Learning and Care Centres (ELCCs) in areas of unmet need for child care. This also includes additional measures to provide extra child care places in Bowen Basin mining communities.

During 2009-10, the department:

  • commenced operation of an early years centre at Browns Plains, with planning underway for a further early years centre at Cairns to be fully operational in 2011
  • commenced operation of the Early Learning and Care Centre at Amberley District State School, providing long day care and a kindergarten program
  • progressed planning for Early Learning and Care Centres (ELCCs) to provide increased access to long day care for children from birth to school age in Cairns, Townsville and Gladstone, in partnership with the Australian Government
  • expanded child care capacity in the Bowen Basin communities of Clermont and Theodore
  • opened new childhood education and care centres at Nanango, Beenleigh, Toowoomba North and Ayr, and committed funding to refurbish The Gap C&K community kindergarten
  • announced, in partnership with the Australian Government, locations for 10 children and family centres (CFCs), which will provide Indigenous families with access to integrated early childhood education and care, parenting and family support, and child and maternal health services
  • provided extra funding to The Smith Family to deliver its Let's Read program in three locations in Far North Queensland, Cape York and Torres Strait, as part of the Queensland Government Best Start Reading to Children initiative.

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