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  • Writer's pictureJack Ritchie

How QLD Kindy Funding Works: Sessional Kindergarten

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

The Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) is to be replace by the new Kindy Funding operation from 2023.


Here's how it works


Overview


Kindergarten providers can receive up to 5 grants in 2023. These are:

  1. Base Subsidy

  2. Affordability Subsidy

  3. Service Location Subsidy

  4. Educational Need Subsidy

  5. Inclusion Subsidy

Subsidies are given for each eligible, enrolled child.


For a child to be eligible, they must be at least 4 years old by 30th June 2023.


For a service to be eligible, they must:

  • be registered as an approved kindergarten program provider (and not had their registration suspended/revoked) & deliver an approved/alternative kindergarten program.

  • employ a qualified early childhood teacher (ECT) to deliver the approved kindergarten program.

  • offer and provide all eligible children in the approved kindergarten program an annual provision of 600 hours made up of at least 15 hours a week or 30 hours per fortnight for 40 weeks (any other model must be approved by the Department of Education).

  • Have a Working Towards NQS Rating or higher, or are yet to be assessed.

  • If provider is a Sessional Kindergarten service - be a member or affiliate of a central governing body.

Each subsidy has its own guidelines, so let's go through them.



What Subsidies are Available to Sessional Kindergartens?


Base Subsidy

This is a flat fee of $5,118.30 per eligible child across the year, split into 4 quarterly payments.


A minimum of $1,500 should be used for reducing families' out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. fee reductions), whilst the remaining $3,618.30 should be used for:

  • improved entitlements for ECTs delivering the program (inc. wages, professional development or learning resources).

  • Resources specifically for eligible children.

  • Operational costs related to the delivery of the program.

Providers should be able to demonstrate how they used subsidy, including how they reduced out-of-pocket expenses. They should keep a record of things such as families fee statements and financial reports.



Affordability Subsidy

This funding is split into 'Kindy Plus' & 'Kindy Family Tax Benefit (FTB)', and is a quarterly payment for each eligible child. It must only be used to offset kindergarten fees for families.


Kindy Plus children get free kindergarten. This will be calculated by fees minus the base subsidy. To receive free kindergarten, a child must meet 1 of the following criteria:

  • the family must have an Australian Government Health Care Card, current Australian Government Concession Card, Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold Card or White Card, or evidence of formal foster or kinship care arrangements.

  • the child is living in a formal child protection out-of-home-care arrangement

  • the child or parent identifies as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

  • the family has 3 or more children of the same age attending a kindergarten program at the same time

  • the family and child have entered Australia under the Refugee and Humanitarian Program, or is in the process of seeking asylum and holds a temporary visa.

  • Be in temporary financial hardship

Kindy FTB is a subsidy of up to $2,000 per year, and given to a family who received Family Tax Benefit Part A or B during the 2021-22 Financial Year.


In short, Kindy Plus is to give free kindergarten, and Kindy FTB is to give fee-reduced kindergarten.


Affordability subsidies can only be used to offset fees for eligible children. This can be offered quarterly, or spread out across the quarter.


As with all subsidies, records should be kept - including Kindy Plus (temporary financial hardship) applications.


Service Location Subsidy

This funding is calculated per eligible child (with a minimum of 22), and is split into 2 types:

  • Service Location - Early Childhood Teachers Subsidy

  • Service Location - Financial Viability Subsidy

Eligibility is based on location, with equal subsidies for both types:

  • Outer Regional services receiving $374 per child/year

  • Remote services receiving $974 per child/year

  • Very Remote services receiving $1,405 per child/year

The Early Childhood Teachers Subsidy is used to help services recruit ECTs, including:

  • assisting ECTs with relocation and rent costs, including flights to and from home.

  • Paying bonuses, above award wages, additional annual leave to eligible ECTs.

  • Professional development & learning resources for eligible ECTs.

The Financial Viability Subsidy is used to offset the costs of running a kindergarten program in a regional/remote area.


Services should be able to provide evidence of this funding, such as payslips, financial reports and correspondence.


Educational Need Grant

This funding - also known as Kindy Uplift - is only available to 900 services, and the amounts vary depending on the service.


Services should spend this on programs, resources, educational supports and professional development to build educator capability, support inclusion and improve children's learning and development with a focus on 1 or more of the priority areas:

  • social and emotional capability

  • physicality

  • thinking and responding

  • oral language and communication

  • access and inclusion

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander access and inclusion (from 2024).

To get the funding, services should submit a Kindy Uplift Plan, and have it approved by a Kindy Uplift advisor. They will then only be able to spend money on the Kindy Uplift plan, which they should be able to demonstrate.


Inclusion Subsidy

This funding is split into Inclusion Ready ($154 per child/year) & Kindergarten Inclusion Support Scheme (Service-Specific).


Inclusion Ready should be used to:

  • Improve participation and attendance for all children

  • ensure children with diverse backgrounds or additional needs are provided with adjustments, supplementary to the strategies and resources already available

  • engage in professional development to ensure educators support children and families to feel welcome, engaged and culturally safe

  • support the transition into kindergarten or Prep for children with diverse backgrounds or additional needs.

Funding must be spent on programs, resources, equipment, educational materials, professional development, or visiting partners or specialists.


Kindergarten Inclusion Support Scheme funding should be used to help children who meet 1 or more of these criteria:

  • a suspected or diagnosed disability or development delay

  • present with challenging behaviours, trauma-related behaviours, or additional/high-support needs.

  • a serious medical or health condition (inc. mental health)

Funding should support educators to meet their legal responsibility to ensure all children are included in the kindergarten program.

As with all other types, subsidy spending should be demonstrated through evidence including receipts and financial reports.


What you can expect from OWNA


We are working with the Queensland government to be able to report all of the information related to child eligibility, so that funding can be calculated.


We also are enhancing our discounting feature and reporting functions to help you report evidence and apply funding to families.



For more information on the Queensland Kindy Funding program, please head to the Queensland government website.

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