Menu
Mum calls for free kindy as low-income families fall through welfare net
Mum calls for free kindy as low-income families fall through welfare net

Calls for Budget to include free kindy

A massive $1.7 billion childcare funding boost, promised in this week's federal budget, has been hailed as a "lifesaver" for some families but a failure for others.

Under the budget deal, childcare subsidies will increase for families with a second and subsequent child in care.

It is expected the increase, due to start in July 2022, will benefit 35,000 Queensland families by removing a $10,560 cap for couples with a combined income of more than $189,390.

It will mean a family earning $110,000 a year will get an increase in their subsidy for their second and subsequent children from 72 to 95 per cent, which equates to about $95 a week.

But Logan mum-of-three Emma Nolan said the budget boost was unlikely to help her pay for her third child, Leo, to go to kindy next year.

When financial circumstances changed mid last year, the busy mum prepared for the worst - and was ready to pull her four-year-old son, Mason, out of kindy in order to stick to her tight budget.

When financial circumstances changed for Logan mum Emma Nolan her second son, Mason, was lucky enough to be given a welfare scholarship to pay for his kindy fees.
When financial circumstances changed for Logan mum Emma Nolan her second son, Mason, was lucky enough to be given a welfare scholarship to pay for his kindy fees.

 

But a radical scholarship program, run by a Logan-based welfare organisation, saved the day and gave Mason a "scholarship", paying his kindy fees, averaging about $40 a day.

"The scholarship was amazing and got us through," she said.

"Without it, Mason would not have been able to go to kindy and I would have had to stay at home.

"Childcare subsidies are complex and the amount paid varies at each kindy or day care centre but this is a step in the right direction - even if it does not start until next year and will be spread out over three years.

"I want Leo to go to pre-prep or kindy as the research shows that it will help him when he goes to school. It is not just so I can go to work.

"What I would like to see is a proper free pre-prep for all kids not just child care."

Mason, now five and at school, was one of 50 to receive a Bendigo Bank-backed scholarship last year through welfare organisation Logan Together.

Logan Together chief executive Matthew Cox said the federal budget needed to do more to increase the number of kids at preschool and advocated a national funding framework to make kindy free for all.
Logan Together chief executive Matthew Cox said the federal budget needed to do more to increase the number of kids at preschool and advocated a national funding framework to make kindy free for all.


Unfortunately, the scholarship is no longer available after Logan Together ran out of funds.

Logan Together chief executive Matthew Cox said the federal budget needed to do more to increase the number of kids at preschool and advocated a national funding framework to make kindy free for all.

He said two years ago, half of Logan kids were missing out on kindy, with figures dropping to a third, or about 1500 children, this year.

"We know that preschool really improves life opportunities so it's a paradox that really needs to be fixed and federal funding could go part of the way," Mr Cox said.

"The government also needs to consider longer-term funding for child care instead of the one-year arrangement in place at the moment.

"Parents, childcare centres and welfare organisations need to be able to plan further ahead that a year."

More than 300,000 Queensland children spend more than 26 hours in approved care on average each week.

 

 

 

Originally published as Calls for Budget to include free kindy



‘I want to go home’: Man denies tracker allegation

Premium Content ‘I want to go home’: Man denies tracker allegation

Police are alleging a man tampered with his GPS tracker in an attempt to remove it...

Schools tackle clear and present vaping danger

Premium Content Schools tackle clear and present vaping danger

Incidence of vaping among students continues to rise

State-run nursing homes running short on time, staff

Premium Content State-run nursing homes running short on time, staff

Shocking figures reveal a shortage of aged-care workers