Better access to kindergarten programs

CHILDREN in rural and remote communities will have greater access to kindergarten programs in 2017 as the Palaszczuk Government expands the Remote Kindergarten Pilot Program.

Education Minister Kate Jones said the program would be delivered at 36 schools in 2017, expanding from 11 this year.

"The Palaszczuk Government is committed to providing every child in Queensland with access to a quality kindergarten program," she said.

"The expansion is a direct result of the success of the pilot this year.

"We know how vital the early years are to giving children a confident start to their education.

"This program gives children the opportunity for face-to-face kindergarten experiences to help prepare them for school.

"Children in the program also benefit from the opportunity to socialise with other children their age."

Ms Jones said the program was delivered through composite Prep classes.

"To ensure children are supported effectively, Prep classroom teachers are provided with additional teacher aide support," she said.

"All participating schools will also receive a $5000 grant to buy age-appropriate resources for the participating children.

"We are also providing targeted professional development support for teachers delivering the program.

"This program complements eKindy which will still be an important early years option for many isolated children."

The Isolated Children's Parents' Association Vice-President Tammie Irons said the extra support in 2017 was a great development for families in remote communities.

"We are very excited about this development," Ms Irons said.

"It's definitely something we are very happy about as it means so many more children from remote areas will have access to face-to-face kindergarten education and care."

"While eKindy is great, for so many children the ability to be in a classroom is important as it meets lots of other needs such as socialising with other children."

Aramac State School Principal Kurt Rose said he welcomed the opportunity to expand the school community.
"We're really excited about being able to provide remote kindy places next year," Mr Rose said.

"Our local community has embraced opportunity to build and enrich connections from an early age.
"We're also looking forward to the opportunities this will provide staff through an expanded curriculum."

For further information on the Remote Kindergarten Pilot call the Queensland Government on 137468 or visit the Early Childhood Education and Care website: http://deta.qld.gov.au/earlychildhood/



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