The year before school is so important for young children. It’s where they learn the skills to develop the confidence they need to make a smooth transition to school.
Getting off to a good start at school can make a big difference to a child’s success in later years, but worryingly one in five children are starting school developmentally vulnerable. This means they are behind their peers in one or more domain(s) of social, emotional, language and cognitive, communication and general knowledge, or physical development. The evidence shows that children who start behind tend to stay behind. The evidence also shows that access to a high quality early learning program in the year before school halves the chance of a child starting school with a developmental vulnerability, which makes news of more generous financial support for kindergarten and preschool children great for parents.
The Government’s new Child Care Subsidy offers 36 hours per fortnight of subsidy for children attending a kindergarten program at a centre-based day care service in the year before school (ie in the year that is 2 years before grade 1 of school) to all families earning less than $350,000 per year. That’s 6 hours per fortnight more than the current level of support.
This is great news for families during the critical year before school. And even better is that families who are eligible for the new Child Care Subsidy don’t need to meet the new activity test in order to qualify for this subsidy payment – that means that regardless of how much work or recognised activity you and your partner do, you may still be entitled to receive generous payments to offset the cost of attending a kindergarten program at a Goodstart Early Learning Centre. The amount of the subsidy will depend on you and your partner’s combined family income and your centre's fees. You can learn more about the new Child Care Subsidy, and get an estimate of your subsidy payments, by clicking here.
The year before school is all about school-readiness, and high quality kindergarten programs combine a strong play-based curriculum with the skill of degree qualified teachers to achieve just that.
A high quality program helps children become school ready by developing their:
These are the areas against which the Australian Early Development Census measures children in their first year of school. The results of each census provide insights as to how many children are ‘on track’, ‘at risk’, or ‘developmentally vulnerable’ in each area. Our kindergarten programs are geared towards helping children develop the foundational skills they need for a smooth transition to school. You can read about the six key elements of our curriculum here. The program is delivered through play-based learning which makes it active and fun. This helps children develop an openness to learning that lasts well into adult life.
Visit www.goodstart.org.au/kindergarten to find your nearest Goodstart Kindergarten program.
This post is sponsored by Goodstart Early Learning.