“It’s a relief for our family to know that we can give our son the opportunity to learn, play and make friends at kindy without worrying about the cost.”
The Queensland Government has announced 14,000 children will be able to take advantage of completely free kindy in 2023, thanks to its latest $1 billion investment.
Around 40,000 families will benefit from the new scheme, according to Education Minister Grace Grace.
“There’s no two ways about it: the early years are absolutely critical to a child’s future,” Ms Grace said on Sunday when the scheme was announced.
“We want Queensland’s kindy services to be both exceptional and accessible, and I don’t want a single family in our state to struggle to send their child to kindy.”
This is the most significant reform to the sector in more than a decade.
Cheaper kindy for 40,600 more families
In addition to free care being offered, 70 percent of the 58,000 families (around 40,600 families) with kids in kindy will see a reduction in their kindergarten fees.
A family that earns $60,000 and holds an Australian Government Health Care Card will benefit from free sessional kindy—saving, on average, $4500 a year.
For families with children in long day care who receive the Family Tax Benefit and have an income of up to $130,000, savings will be around $500 a year.
“This is significant, targeted, financial support for low to middle-income families that will help with the cost of living and give more kids a great start in life,” Ms Grace said.
“We can relax a bit now”
This is welcome news for Queensland dad Amol and his three-year-old son Advait.
“It’s a relief for our family to know that we can give him the opportunity to learn, play and make friends at kindy without worrying about the cost.”
Brisbane mum Kylie Caso told NCA NewsWire she could save around $1500 a year through the scheme.
“The last couple of years have been tough and I think I speak for everybody when I say we’re in a different sort of world now with the cost of living,” she said.
“We can relax a little bit now and do something else with that money.”
Lady Gowrie Queensland chief executive Louise Jackson said in a press release she’s excited to offer new savings to her families.
“The new Kindy savings will go a long way in supporting families attending our kindy services from next year.
“It helps lower costs and enables all children to participate in kindy – a great start to life, and their education.”