LET KIDS BE KIDS

State Govt wants to send three-year-olds to school

Dalby Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MEG GANNON

WHEN the time came for Jandowae mum and United States ex-pat Bar­bara Stevens, to en­rol her son Phillip, 3, in child­care, she un­der­stood just how im­por­tant early learn­ing was in the for­ma­tive years of his life.

But early learn­ing as it is now could be over­hauled by the State Gov­ern­ment’s new KindylinQ pro­gram, which will send kids as young as three to school. “Day­cares, if they have an early learn­ing plat­form, do ex­cep­tion­ally well pro­vid­ing preschool ed­u­ca­tion,” Ms Stevens said. “If you have ac­cess to it, you’ll end up putting your kid in it and you’ll get a bet­ter chance of hav­ing a good start.”

WHEN the time came for Jandowae mum and United States ex-pat Bar­bara Stevens, to en­rol her son Phillip, 3, in child­care, she un­der­stood just how im­por­tant early learn­ing was in the for­ma­tive years of his life.

But early learn­ing as it is now could be over­hauled by the State Gov­ern­ment’s new KindylinQ pro­gram, which will send kids as young as three to school.

“Day­cares, if they have an early learn­ing plat­form, do ex­cep­tion­ally well pro­vid­ing preschool ed­u­ca­tion,” Ms Stevens said.

“If you have ac­cess to it, you’ll end up putting your kid in it and you’ll get a bet­ter chance of hav­ing a good start.

“I was re­ally ex­cited when I no­ticed that they had an early learn­ing cur­ricu­lum that was man­dated by the state, and it was af­ford­able.

“Kids thrive when they get that early ed­u­ca­tion and they get that one-on-one at­ten­tion.”

Ms Stevens ques­tioned the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of stu­dents en­ter­ing into KindylinQ classes and called for the gov­ern­ment to con­sider the chil­dren’s and teach­ers’ best in­ter­ests.

“You’re just go­ing to put ex­tra pres­sure on the teach­ers,” she said.

“We have re­ally qual­i­fied day­care teach­ers who go to school and do re­ally well and love their jobs and there’s no need to push a lit­tle kid into the big kid school.

“You’re only two to three to four to five so long in your life.”

New pro­gram

The KindylinQ pro­gram will have a fo­cus on in­door and out­door, hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties, and will in­clude an el­e­ment of par­ent en­gage­ment.

KindylinQ classes will be hosted by schools across the state and will in­volve tod­dlers par­tic­i­pat­ing in sep­a­rate classes within a school en­vi­ron­ment.

“KindylinQ will act as a soft en­try to kindy, en­cour­ag­ing par­ents and care­givers to ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in these play-based learn­ing ses­sions with their child,” Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Grace Grace said.

“We want fam­i­lies to ac­cess this fan­tas­tic pro­gram to build their con­fi­dence as their child’s first teacher and giv­ing them vi­tal tips that they can use at home.”

Ms Grace said a big part of start­ing KindylinQ was to en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion be­tween the early learn­ing years be­fore chil­dren be­gan their pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion.

“For many, kindy can ini­tially be a daunt­ing step-up and we want all our chil­dren to get a great start,” Ms Grace said.

“This 12-month, spe­cially de­signed pro­gram will re­ally help some of our very young Queens­lan­ders de­velop the es­sen­tial ba­sic skills needed and get ready for school.”

Plan ques­tioned

Shadow Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Jar­rod Blei­jie told the Her­ald the $2.2 mil­lion go­ing to­wards the pro­gram could be bet­ter used else­where.

“Teach­ers are al­ready stretched to the limit with an over­crowded cur­ricu­lum with­out hav­ing to take on ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties,” he said.

“The trial should have al­lowed three year olds to be in a kindy pro­gram, not go to a school.

“It also ex­cludes kids from work­ing fam­i­lies, which shows how in­ef­fec­tive it will be.

“It’s $2.2 mil­lion that could have been bet­ter spent de­clut­ter­ing the cur­ricu­lum for teach­ers or sup­port­ing a three year old kindy pro­gram – at a proper kindy.”

Pic­ture: Meg Gannon

TOO YOUNG: Jandowae mum Bar­bara Stevens be­lieves three is too young to send kids to school.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.