Refugee and asylum seeker children will now have better access to kindergarten, thanks to a new pilot program developed by the Palaszczuk Government.
The program will help children engage in early childhood education, which could also help them and their parents engage with the community.
More than $667,000 has been allocated to specialist agencies to ensure the program can reach refugee and asylum seeker families in targeted locations.
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Last year, more than 50 refugee and asylum seeker children, of kindy age, settled in Queensland, though very few were able to access early childhood education.
Already, this year has seen 45 children able to start kindergarten as part of this program, with more expected to enrol soon.
At the program’s official launch today, Education Minister Grace Grace said she was proud of the Government’s efforts to ensure all Queensland children had access to kindergarten.
“This program recognises the challenges faced by many refugee and asylum seeker children and their families,” she said.
“It provides families with the assistance they need to get their children into kindergarten, which is an important step to helping improve children’s readiness for school.”
The agencies facilitating the pilot program are Access Community Services (Access) and Multicultural Development Australia.
Access will employ an early childhood teacher, as well as a teacher supporting English as an additional language and dialect, at five school-based Community Hubs in Logan.
Multicultural Development Australia will provide support to kindergarten services enrolling refugee and asylum seeker children in Brisbane, Logan, Inala and Toowoomba.
Hubs for the pilot program currently include Woodridge State School, St Paul’s School, Marsden State School and St Francis College.
The pilot program will run until the end of 2018.