The Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) provides subsidies to support approved kindergarten program providers (KPP) with the cost of delivering a kindergarten learning program, and to help ensure the cost of kindergarten is not a barrier to access for families.
What is the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) subsidy?
The Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) subsidy is a loading applied to the standard per child QKFS subsidy. It is paid to approved KPPs in remote areas to attract and retain qualified early childhood teachers (ECT).
Services are not required to apply for ARIA—eligibility to receive ARIA is automatically determined as part of the KPP application process.
It is important to keep in mind that ARIA must be used to attract and retain qualified ECTs in remote areas.
How can I apply the ARIA subsidy?
Approved KPPs are required to negotiate with their ECT on how ARIA is to be applied to best support the ECT, based on the needs of the service. The QKFS Funding Requirements set out the uses of ARIA, including the option to use ARIA to increase the salary of the ECT as a strategy to attract or retain the ECT.
Approved KPPs must keep a record of discussions with the ECT regarding the use of the ARIA subsidy. These records must be available to the Department of Education on request.
Examples of how ARIA can be used include (but are not limited to):
- assisting the teacher with relocation costs
- subsidising rent for the teacher if rental costs are high in the local community
- paying significantly above award wages
- provision to pay a bonus in addition to their wages
- providing additional paid annual leave
- subsidising the cost of travel to and from the community to the teacher's home base
- providing help with institution or university study fees if an educator is working towards the completion of an approved early childhood teaching qualification.
The department will recover the ARIA if approved KPPs cannot demonstrate:
- how ARIA has been applied to attract and retain their ECT to deliver the kindergarten program
- evidence of discussions with the ECT regarding the use of ARIA.
How can I demonstrate I have applied the ARIA subsidy?
The approved KPP is responsible for maintaining accurate records at all times. The records must clearly demonstrate how the ARIA was applied. Appropriate records include:
- ECT contract of employment
- copies of payslips
- records confirming the payment of rental assistance
- advice from the university confirming HELP payment details
- records to confirm commencement and cessation dates for each ECT who delivered the kindergarten learning program.
What is the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA)?
SEIFA is a low socio-economic subsidy, based on the Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas.
For long day care services:
- a 25% loading is applied to the standard QKFS subsidy rate for services in the bottom 20% of Statistical and Local Area (SLA) based on the 2011 Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (SEIFA 1 and 2 areas).
For kindergarten services:
- a 45% loading is applied to the standard QKFS subsidy rate for kindergarten services in the bottom 20% of Statistical and Local Areas based on the 2011 Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (SEIFA 1 and 2 areas)
- a 30% loading is applied to the standard QKFS subsidy rate for kindergarten services in the bottom 20% of Statistical and Local Area (SEIFA 3 and 4 areas).
Services are not required to apply for SEIFA—eligibility is automatically determined as part of the KPP application process.
SEIFA is to be used by the service to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for all families with eligible children participating in the kindergarten program.
How can I apply the SEIFA subsidy?
The approved KPP may apply the SEIFA to:
- individual family accounts of eligible kindergarten-aged children
- reduce the overall advertised fee for the kindergarten learning program (the reduction in advertised fees can only apply to the eligible-aged cohort in the kindergarten program. Younger children (3-year-olds) who are also enrolled in the kindergarten program would not attract the SEIFA subsidy).
It is important to clearly explain to eligible families at the time of enrolment how SEIFA benefits them, and how it is reflected in the service's fee structure or applied to the individual families' statement of fees.
How can I demonstrate I have applied the SEIFA subsidy?
The approved KPP is responsible for maintaining accurate records at all times. The records must clearly demonstrate how SEIFA is being applied to benefit eligible families. Appropriate records could include:
- family statements where a fee reduction has been applied
- internal policy statements.
The ARIA and SEIFA subsidy funding amounts are based on weekly enrolments submitted quarterly through QGrants. The amounts are indexed annually in July, as determined by the State Treasurer. View the 2020-21QKFS standard subsidy rates.
For more information please refer to the QKFS funding requirements (PDF, 3.7MB).
Kindergarten services funded under the Central Governing Body (CGB) model may also contact their CGB for further information, or call the QKFS Funding team on (07) 3035 2244.