More kindergarten-aged kids in rural and remote Queensland communities will go to new “face-to-face” kindies for the first time next year.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was delivering on its $12 million election commitment to expand remote kindergarten in schools initiative to 20 more schools from Mount Garnet in the Far North to Thallon near the New South Wales border.
“We know the benefits that flow from kindergarten in giving our kids a great start,” Ms Grace said.
“Kindy helps improve children’s literacy and numeracy skills, social skills and prepares them for school.
“All the research shows the benefits that also flow later in life in terms of improved school results, and better health and employment prospects.
“Many rural and remote families currently don’t have a kindy service close to where they live and this will ensure that more kids can access quality kindy, no matter where in Queensland they live.”
Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association president Louise Martin welcomed the news about the new services.
“It’s great to see more of state delivered kindergarten services for our rural and remote families,” she said.
Four hours west of Roma, Tambo parent Carroll Abel is a remote kindy enthusiast after seeing the difference the Tambo State School remote kindy is making for her second daughter, Harriet.
“She’s becoming familiar with the school, the expectations of being in a learning environment, and having to listen to someone other than her mother for the first time,” Ms Abel said.
“It is fundamentally changing education for these kids.”
The Government today announced the 20 new schools that will have remote kindies:
- five central Queensland schools: Nagoorin, Orion, Anakie, Wowan and Westwood State Schools
- three Burnett region schools: Proston, Lowmead and Wartburg State Schools
- nine Darling Downs and south-west schools: Karara, Lundavra, Mungallala, Dulacca, Talwood, Kogan, Yelarbon, Thallon, and Wallumbilla State Schools
- three north and far north schools: Mount Garnett, Prairie and Abergowrie State Schools.
The Palaszczuk Government started remote kindies in 2016 at 38 schools and 69 rural and remote state schools can now provide kindy. More than 800 children have attended remote kindy statewide since it started, including nearly 170 currently registered.
These kindies were established in schools where there is no other kindy service within a 50km radius. The expansion for next year extends eligibility to schools where there is no kindy within 40km.