Thousands of Queensland families will get free or cheaper kindergarten from next year, with the state government investing $1 billion into the sector over the next four to five years.
From January 1, 2023, 40,000 eligible families will be able to access free or cheaper kindy.
The scheme will offer free kindy for 14,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and cheaper kindy for another 26,000 children.
“That means, of the 58,000 families with kids in kindy, 70 per cent of them will see a reduction in their fees,” Education Minister Grace Grace said.
“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.”
How much can families save?
Some families can save thousands of dollars a year on kindy costs.
“For example, a family that earns $60,000 and holds an Australian Government Health Care Card will benefit from free sessional kindy. That will save an average of $4,500 a year,” Grace said.
“If your child attends kindy in a long day care, you have a family income of up to $130,000 and receive Family Tax Benefit, you will save around $500 a year.”
Sessional kindy runs during school terms and school hours, for 40 weeks a year. Long day care usually operates at least 10 hours a day from Monday to Friday, for at least 48 weeks a year.
In Queensland, children who are at least four years old by June 30 can start kindy.
Grace said the government had been working with more than 2,000 kindy providers in Queensland.
It’s the latest measure to help Aussie families with cost-of-living pressures, in addition to the Federal Government’s $4.5 billion investment in cheaper child care.
From July 2023, the Federal Government will increase the maximum childcare subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families earning up to $80,000.