Queensland Government launching Kindy free for families

The Queensland Government is making kindergarten free for all Queensland families from 1 January 2024.

The Premier today announced the $645 million investment which will help every Queensland child get a great start in life and support parents in their return to work.

Currently 14,000 children receive free kindy, which is a 15 hour a week government approved educational program that children can attend the year before they start school.

These historic reforms mean more than 50,000 additional children will be able to attend for free.

Free kindergarten is set to save families around $4,600 per year, putting money back in the pockets of mums, dads, and carers where it’s needed.

Queenslanders were asked what they thought about free kindy last month, which saw over 6,400 people responding to the survey.

98% said free kindy would help them and their family.

The additional $645 million will take the total investment in kindergarten to $2 billion over four years.

It includes increasing the funds to attract and retain a quality workforce to $120 million, with a portion specifically dedicated to getting staff to kindy services in regional and remote areas by providing things like relocation expenses and accommodation assistance.

The successful Kindy Uplift program, which provides targeted resources and professional development to services where children are more likely to experience disadvantage, will receive a $20 million boost to make a total of $112 million over the next four years. The number of services benefiting will grow from 930 to 2,000.

There is also an extra $15 million to boost support for children with disability and additional needs, taking the total to $91 million.

Ongoing funding is committed beyond the forward estimates to ensure kindy remains free for everyone. The government will now work closely with the sector so they are ready for the expected higher number of enrolments in January 2024.