Funded kindergartens programs are those that receive funding from the state government. They are an ideal option for parents that cannot afford kindergarten for their kids. Below is an extensive excerpt on funded kindergarten programs and the considerations to make when enrolling your child in a funded kindergarten.
How Do Funded Kindergarten Programs Work?
Funded kindergarten programs allow children from disadvantaged backgrounds to access kindergarten. More often than not, funding is extended to long day care and sessional kindergartens. Below are the various types of kindergarten funded programs in Australia:
- Standard kindergarten per capita funding allows eligible children to attend kindergarten for at least 600 hours every year. The children should be at least four years old.
- Rural kindergarten per capita funding is customised to cater to the needs of children that live in rural areas.
- Kindergarten fee subsidies supplement the per capita funding programs. To qualify for this grant, the child must be Torres Strait Islander or Aboriginal. Alternatively, the child's parent should have a refugee visa, commonwealth healthcare card or veteran affairs card.
- Early start extension kindergarten grants are designed for vulnerable children that do not qualify for kindergarten fee subsidies.
Finding A Funded Kindergarten
Consider the following when enrolling your child to a funded kindergarten program.
Each funded kindergarten program has predetermined eligibility criteria. As such, you should look for a program in which your child is eligible. In some cases, parents might be asked to provide their financial details to determine a suitable program. Typically, parents with higher incomes will receive partial funding.
Ideally, the kindergarten should have a healthy and long term relationship with the government and state agencies that deal with kindergarten funding. It is a guarantee that the facility meets the required criteria to receive state funding. Avoid kindergartens without an operating licence, those that do not have the required student: teacher ratio or those that do not abide by the set code of conduct.
The kindergarten should be socially and culturally inclusive. The management should provide additional support to ensure vulnerable children are comfortable at the facility.
You may also be interested in the kindergarten curriculum. For instance, some parents will be inclined towards play-based kindergarten programs. If you have a disabled child, consider kindergartens that accommodate children with special needs.
Funded kindergarten programs enable vulnerable and disadvantaged children to attend kindergarten. When enrolling your child to a funded kindergarten program, check the eligibility criteria, the kindergarten history and the learning environment.
To learn more, reach out to a funded kindergarten program in your area.