In Queensland (Qld), 'Kindergarten' and 'Pre-Preparatory' are the terms used for the educational programs provided to children in the year or two before full-time schooling which is referred to within this manual as 'preschool'. 'Preparatory' or 'Prep' are the terms used for a child’s first year of full-time school (i.e. pre-Year 1 year).
LEGISLATION AND LICENSING
In 2013, the Qld Department of Education, Training and Employment (Qld DETE) is responsible for the approval of licensing and monitoring of early childhood services under the Education and Care Services National Law 2011 (Qld) and Child Care Act 2002 (Qld). All non-government services offering approved preschool programs are approved under the national law. In addition, Qld DETE provides funding to service providers approved under the Qld Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) to support the delivery of preschool programs. In addition, a small number of DETE early childhood education programs known as pre-Prep are administered under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Queensland).
Prior to 2012, qualification requirements to work in early childhood education were attached to specific educator roles including director, early childhood teacher, group leader, assistant, family day care educator or outside school hours care coordinator. From 1 January 2012 these requirements changed for the majority of services as per the National Quality Framework. A list of national approved qualifications is available on the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
Further information on the Framework can be found on the Department of Education website: <http://education.gov.au/national-quality-framework-early-childhood-education-and-care>.
Service providers in Qld that offer a preschool program as their main type of activity have the following management arrangements.
There are a small number of government managed schools that provide preschool programs in Qld under the Bound for Success pre-Prep program, which operates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This program is offered in very remote communities where there are little or no early childhood education and care infrastructure. These programs are provided by Qld DETE under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld) where children enrolled are less than six years of age or the Education and Care Services National Law 2011 (Qld) where children enrolled are 6 years of age or more. Within the government managed sector, there are various vehicles for delivering a preschool program and in 2013 this included eKindy.
eKindy is a comprehensive ‘at home’ kindergarten program for children in the year before Prep. A child is eligible for eKindy if
- their residence is at least 16 km by the most direct route by road from the nearest centre-based service catering to kindergarten-aged children.
- they have a medical certificate stating they are unable to attend a centre-based service for more than 10 consecutive weeks due to their health
- the child’s principal place of residence is likely to change at least twice during the registration year due to the parent’s work; or
- the child will have to spend a period of at least 10 weeks, or a number of periods of at least 2 weeks that total at least 10 weeks, away from the child’s principal place of residence during the registration year.
Community managed preschools include those managed by parents, a church or a cooperative, where the main service activity type is preschool.
: Private for-profit preschools are approved stand-alone preschools provided by for-profit corporations or entities, where the main service activity type is preschool.
:: Private not-for-profit preschools are approved stand-alone preschools provided by not-for-profit organisations or entities, where the main service activity type is preschool.
: Independent schools are services providing approved preschool programs in registered non-government schools.
Catholic schools are services providing approved preschool programs in registered Catholic schools.
Other (TAFE, university, corporate):
Other management types include approved preschool programs delivered in educational facilities (for example TAFE or universities) or in corporate settings (for example preschools provided for employees of an organisation), where the main service activity type is preschool.
Long Day Care
Service providers in Qld that offer long day care as their main type of activity and may also offer and deliver a preschool program have the following management arrangements.
Long Day Care with a Preschool Program
:: Private for-profit LDCs are approved centre-based integrated services provided by for-profit corporations or entities, where the main service activity type is not preschool but a preschool program is delivered by the service provider.
: Private not-for-profit LDCs are approved centre-based integrated services provided by not-for-profit corporations or entities, where the main service activity type is not preschool but a preschool program is delivered by the service provider.