Kindy pro­gram to ex­pand through­out south­west

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

KINDER­GARTEN stu­dents will be wel­comed at 30 more re­gional schools over the next two years.

Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Grace Grace an­nounced the re­mote kindy pro­gram would ex­pand, en­sur­ing chil­dren from all over the state had equal and greater ac­cess to start­ing their school life.

“The Re­mote Kinder­garten Pi­lot has been very suc­cess­ful in help­ing achieve his aim, with 239 chil­dren across 38 schools ben­e­fit­ing since it be­gan in 2016,” she said.

“We’ll now tran­si­tion from a pi­lot phase into a full, on­go­ing pro­gram from the start of 2019.

“Ex­pand­ing into 30 more schools will pro­vide much needed ac­cess to kinder­garten for more than 100 ex­tra chil­dren in re­mote ar­eas that are lo­cated more than 50 kilo­me­tres from the near­est ser­vice.”

Ms Grace said ex­ist­ing teach­ers would de­liver the pro­gram, and teacher aides would be em­ployed for 20 ex­tra hours a week.

“This ex­tra teacher aide time also gives an im­por­tant em­ploy­ment boost in our most re­mote com­mu­ni­ties, which are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing drought,” Ms Grace said

She said ac­cess to kinder­garten was im­por­tant, as it helps im­prove young chil­dren’s lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy skills, as well as so­cial com­pe­tence and school readi­ness.

“These are all im­por­tant in­gre­di­ents in a suc­cess­ful start to ed­u­ca­tion.”

Iso­lated Chil­dren’s Par­ents’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tam­mie Irons wel­comed the ex­pan­sion of the pro­gram, and the on­go­ing cer­tainty it pro­vided to schools al­ready in­vovled.

“Face to face ed­u­ca­tion is so im­por­tant for chil­dren liv­ing in ru­ral and re­mote parts of Queens­land and the ex­pan­sion of this pro­gram will en­sure more kids have ac­cess to it,” Ms Irons said.

For more in­for­ma­tion, go to au/ early-child­hood/fam­i­lies/ re­mote-kinder­garten.

ALL SMILES: More kindy chil­dren from the south­west will ben­e­fit from the ex­pand­ing re­mote kinder­garten pro­gram. Photo: Con­trib­uted

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