Approved kindergarten programs, identified by the 'Kindy tick' logo, are taught only by qualified early childhood teachers and run for 15 hours a week for 40 weeks, or one school year. They are assessed and certified by the Queensland Government to ensure children across the state receive a consistent, quality education. They are delivered by both kindergarten and long day care services.
At Toowoomba Central we have been delivering the AKP since it the scheme was introduced several years ago. It is available to all children who turn 4 by the 30th June in the year of attendance.
By offering the program in a long day care environment we offer hours of care that suit parents who are in paid employment or studying.
Long day care services also offer care during school holidays.
Our teacher is university-qualified to deliver the educational program whilst the children really enjoy being part of the social group they have spent their formative years with. As it is widely recognised that the first five years create the foundation for the child to accomplish key developmental advances in mind and body, many families see the benefit in keeping their child in the long day care environment throughout this time before transitioning them to the school environment. Parents also get a thrill being a part of our graduation ceremony.
Parents who access the kindergarten program at a long day care centre may be eligible for the Child Care Rebate and the Child Care Benefit.
At Toowoomba Central we provide a comprehensive curriculum to reflect the needs of each child, based upon the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF). The EYLF is the national early childhood curriculum developed by COAG aimed at extending and enriching children’s learning from birth to five years and through the transition to school.
It has a specific emphasis on play-based learning and recognises the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development.
At the broadest level the framework aims for all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.Our programs provide experiences that support and stimulate children’s learning appropriate to the individual, as well as within a group setting.
Research shows from birth to six years, a child is connected to their family, community, culture and their home.
Our educators facilitate and support children’s learning and to work with children in making sense of the world around them. They ensure that each experience is an extension of a child’s home life, and their first and most influential educators – their family.
Therefore our Educators view culture and the context of family as central to children’s sense of being and belonging, and to success in lifelong learning.
As parents, you will be encouraged to become actively involved in our programs, as collaborative partners in your child’s development.
This will be demonstrated when you visit our centre and see our teaching methods first hand. Feedback from existing parents has been extremely positive.
So by now you will have seen plenty of those TV ads featuring the guy from Playschool with the eight kids (Jay Laga’aia) peddling this new program. But what does it all mean for parents of young children?
Well, under Queensland law children must attend school when they are aged 6 ½. It is not compulsory for children to attend the Prep Year, although it does have an attendance rate of 97%. A child is eligible for Prep if they're at least 5½ years of age on December 31 that year, meaning some children may commence Prep at 4½ years of age.
The Approved Kindergarten Program is often thought of as a Pre-Prep program. If you think of attending Prep as the first year of attending school, then the AKP is a great way to have your child “school ready”.