Attending a year of kindergarten (kindy) before school provides an opportunity to learn through play in a structured educational program, and helps children successfully transition into school.
In the early years of a child’s life, they are learning every day. From before birth, their brains are developing and this development continues at a rapid rate throughout the early years.
There are lots of opportunities for children to learn in their earliest years. As they approach school age, it becomes increasingly important for them to engage in social activities and learning programs guided by qualified educators.
In Queensland, children can attend kindy in the year before Prep. Kindy is a part-time educational program where children engage with others and learn through play, under the guidance of qualified early childhood educators.
Attending a year of kindy before Prep helps children to become familiar with a more structured learning environment. Children can build upon the skills and knowledge they’ve already learned at home with their family, and can be better prepared for a successful transition to school.
What is kindy?
Kindergarten (kindy) is a part-time education program available to children in the year before school. At kindy your child will learn to make friends, develop basic knowledge and a love of learning and be better prepared to start school.
At kindy, your children learn through play. They will be supported to use language to communicate feelings, develop social skills, learn to share and play with others, express themselves through art, dance and dramatic play, and build upon their knowledge.
In Queensland, all children, no matter where they live or what their circumstances, have access to quality, inclusive early childhood education.
Queensland Government approved kindergarten programs can be delivered in a range of settings, including kindergarten, long day care services or family day care. If you live in a rural or isolated community and can’t get to a service regularly, you may be eligible to enrol your child in eKindy, a distance education program, or attend one of our pilot remote kindy programs in composite Prep classes.
Kindy programs can be delivered by a range of services, from long day care, to pre-Prep and family day care services. Find out where kindy is available here.
What does it cost?
Kindy fees vary depending on the service; contact your local kindy for details on their fee structure. Government subsidises the cost of kindy to reduce costs.
Low or no-cost kindy is provided to eligible families who:
- hold a current Australian Government Health Care Card (or have a child who does)
- are a foster family with a current Australian Government Health Care Card
- identify as being Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (or have a child who does)
- have three or more children, of the same age, enrolled in the same year.
The subsidy is provided directly to your service provider to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Families of children participating in a kindergarten program in a long day care setting may also be eligible for additional Commonwealth Government rebates such as the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.
Information about eligibility for these rebates is available from Centrelink.
Does it have the ‘kindy tick’?
Look for services that display the ‘kindy tick’. These services offer a program delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher, typically 15 hours per week, 40 weeks a year for children the year before school. Programs are aligned with the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline or other Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority accredited learning programs.
How to enrol
Some services will have wait-lists, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead to secure a place for your child.
To find a kindy program in your local area, or for further information call the Kindy Hotline between business hours on 1800 454 639 or visit www.qld.gov.au/kindy
For more information in a language other than English, phone 1800 454 639 and ask for an interpreter.