More families choosing long-day childcare for kindy
More working parents are choosing long-day childcare, such as that provided by Goodstart Early Learning, over short-hour kindergartens for their preschool-aged children.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 89 per cent of four-year-olds nationally are enrolled in preschool education.
Of those, 43 per cent are enrolled in a stand-alone kindergarten, with more than half of parents (51 per cent) opting for a kinder program in a childcare centre. In Queensland and New South Wales, there are more children enrolled in long-day childcare than preschools (71 per cent and 65 per cent respectively).
The figures also revealed more than 70 per cent of children attend a preschool program for 15 hours or more per week.
Goodstart Early Learning offers government approved kindergarten or preschool programs that are delivered by Bachelor qualified early learning teachers.
Goodstart Early Learning chief executive officer Julia Davison said the not-for-profit organisation’s commitment to early learning involved quality professionals delivering age-appropriate programs.
“It magnifies children’s development, their social competency and their resilience, and is very much in the public interest,” Ms Davison said.
Stand-alone kindergartens usually offer sessions lasting a few hours a day while long-day childcare operates for 12 or more hours a day. Families can drop their children off from on their way to work, ahead of the teacher starting the program, and can pick them up when they finish for the day.
Before and after the kindergarten program operates, children can play with their friends and be involved in many learning experiences.
Tara Davidson, centre director for Goodstart Coorparoo – Cavendish Road, said many working families accessed their kindergarten program.
“Our long-day childcare hours suit working families and many of our children have been with us since they were babies,” Mrs Davidson said.
“The children here get time to spend with their friends and they enjoy a consistency of care which they wouldn’t if they took their children out for an alternative kindergarten program.
“This also means parents can access the government’s childcare rebate.”
The ABS data shows 50 per cent of families pay between $1-4 an hour for preschool, ten per cent pay more than $5 an hour and 20 per cent don’t pay anything.