In fact, the evidence 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 is why educators and parents have welcomed the news that the new Child Care Subsidy will provide 36 hours per fortnight of subsidy for children attending a kindergarten or preschool program at a centre-based day care service in the year before school (to families earning less than $351,248 a year).
Combined with Goodstart Early Learning’s new flexible options, including 9 hour and 10 hour sessions in addition to our all day sessions, kindergarten may now be more affordable for many families.
The new CCS is considerably more generous for families that otherwise fail the activity test, offering 12 hours of additional subsidy per fortnight above the base entitlement to CCS, and a much lower gap fee for two days of kindergarten than the current Child Care Benefit - a saving of up to $63 a week.
Goodstart Early Learning Harristown Early Childhood Teacher Jane Whitney said this is great news for families during the critical year before school.
“The year before school is all about school-readiness, and high quality kindergarten and preschool programs combine a strong play-based curriculum with the skill of degree qualified teachers to achieve just that," she said.
“A high quality program helps children become school ready by developing their physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills and a communication and general knowledge.”
Families who are eligible for the new Child Care Subsidy also don’t need to meet the new activity test in order to qualify for the kindergarten subsidy payment.
This means that regardless of how much work or recognised activity both parents do, they may still be eligible to receive generous payments to offset the cost of attending a kindergarten or preschool program.
The amount of the subsidy received depends on both parents’ combined family income and child care fees.
Amanda is a mother to Hunter, 4 and said the extra subsidy for kindergarten (the year before school) would go a long way to helping her son prepare for school.
“We see kindergarten as a great way to help Hunter practice and prepare for school,” she said.
“It provides the best possible opportunity for him to establish the social, emotional and problem solving skills that he’ll use throughout his school years, and hopefully develop a love of learning along the way.”
“Any extra subsidised time to help him do this is welcomed by our family.”
Introduced to help families minimise out-of-pocket costs , the new 9 hour and 10 hour sessions in addition to Goodstart Early Learning’s all day session, help reduce the risk that families run out of eligible hours and pay full fees.
Thanks to the new sessions, parents can choose the hours that best suit them and their family lifestyle.
For more information on Goodstart’s new sessions, speak to us today: 1800 222 543