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Kindergarten learning program hours

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​Information for long day care services

To be eligible for funding under the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS), long day care (LDC) services must deliver an approved kindergarten learning program for:

  • 600 hours a year (including the 5 day fortnight model)
  • 15 hours per week for 40 weeks a year.

Any other program delivery model outside these designated timeframes must be approved by the Department of Education.

15 hours a week for 40 weeks a year

Many LDC services utilise the 15 hours a week delivery option. This option aligns more effectively with the weekly claiming process in QGrants and the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) with the Australian Government.

Under this delivery option, the early childhood teacher (ECT) must deliver the learning program for a minimum of 15 hours per week. The 15 hours does not include activities delivered outside of the kindergarten learning program (for example, where the ECT is programming away from the children, is on a practical placement, is on planned leave, is acting in another role, or is part of the LDC routine that is not delivering a learning program based on the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline).

Approved kindergarten program providers (KPP) can only claim QKFS funding for children who are enrolled to receive the kindergarten learning program for a minimum of 15 hours a week. Therefore, if a child is enrolled to only receive the kindergarten learning program for one day per week (or less than 15 hours a week) then the service is not eligible to claim QKFS funding for the child.

If a LDC service is offering different childcare session times (to satisfy the CCS), this may impact on the learning program hours received by each kindergarten child. Services need to consider the impact of these sessions to ensure that each child claimed for is enrolled to receive a kindergarten learning program for a minimum of 15 hours a week. It is the approved KPP's responsibility to demonstrate to the department how each child meets this, and all eligibility criteria.

600 hours a year

Services can deliver a learning program for 600 hours per year. This is exclusive of any periods where the ECT is not delivering a learning program, as outlined above.

What is a learning program?

Approved KPPs must deliver a learning program that is based on the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (QKLG), or any alternative kindergarten learning guideline accredited by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). 

A quality kindergarten learning program:

  • draws together advice from the QKLG or approved learning guideline
  • draws on the ECT's pedagogical practices and their professional knowledge and understanding about each child's development and interests
  • provides specific advice and direction to support and strengthen each child's sense of belonging, being and becoming
  • enhances children's lifelong learning outcomes.

The pedagogical perspectives that ECTs adopt to deliver their learning program will influence the principles that guide their decisions as they create responsive and inclusive learning programs.

What is the difference between providing long day care in a service and delivering a kindergarten learning program?

LDC services often provide extended care and education to children aged 0-6, generally from 6.00am to 6.30pm each day. Approved KPPs are funded to provide an approved kindergarten learning program to children aged 4 (the year before they start school), for a minimum of 15 hours per week.

The delivery of the QKFS funded kindergarten learning program must be considered separately to the childcare operation of the LDC service at all times of the day. The operating times of the kindergarten learning program must be displayed at all times, and must reflect the actual hours the learning program is offered by an ECT. These hours are often different to the LDC operating times, or the ECT's shift hours.

What impacts on learning program delivery hours?

The following are examples of potential impacts on the learning program hours:

  • The kindergarten children are in mixed-age groups. For example, services often combine groups at arrival and departure times in one location, so children of different ages are grouped together. While this doesn't stop the kindergarten program from being delivered, evidence of separate planning for the kindergarten cohort during these periods will need to be documented.
  • Delivery of school-aged care, including vacation care, when it is offered from the kindergarten room and in kindergarten play spaces.
  • Any non-contact times for the ECT, including planned leave, programming time, practical placements, and acting as the Director (where the ECT is not replaced by another qualified ECT).
  • Utilising 'under the roof', where the ECT is in another area of the service and/or is not engaged in delivering a learning program with the kindergarten cohort at all.
  • The service's designated Rest Period Condition (up to 2 hours each day) where the ECT is not in the room or is undertaking other activities not directly related to delivering a learning program, such as scheduled cleaning as opposed to incidental cleaning or lunch relief in other rooms. Undertaking programing (for example, writing observations) is acceptable during rest periods.
  • The ECT undertakes additional duties in the service such as scheduled cleaning across the service, driving the service bus, and educational leader responsibilities.

Services need to consider any impacts on their delivery of the kindergarten learning program which may reduce the number of eligible children that the service can claim under the QKFS.

Can services claim for children attending extra-curricular activities (incursions)?

Many services offer a range of extra-curricular activities (incursions) such as yoga, cooking, language, dance and sport programs.

Services can only claim QKFS funding for extra-curricular activities when:

  • a specific experience is being offered to all kindergarten-aged children
  • the ECT is present and participating in the activity
  • the experience is included in the ECT's curriculum.

Services cannot claim QKFS funding when:

  • only some children attend the experience
  • children attend the experience without the ECT
  • the session is not part of the curriculum (even if the ECT is present). 

When claims are lodged through QGrants it is the responsibility of the approved KPP to demonstrate to the department how each child satisfies this criteria, as well as other eligibility criteria.

Are there any children I cannot claim for?

Services cannot claim QKFS funding for children who do not meet the eligibility criteria, including:

  • children who are enrolled for one day a week
  • children receiving Inclusion Support Programme funding
  • children who attend more than one kindergarten or program (QKFS funding is based on a per child subsidy and they can only be eligible once and at one service. When enrolling children in the kindergarten program, services are encouraged to ask parents/carers if the child attends more than one service and if so, which service the parent/carer gives permission to claim). 

How can I demonstrate that each child meets the learning program hours?

The approved KPP is responsible for maintaining current and accurate records at all times. The records must clearly demonstrate how each child meets the kindergarten learning program hours.

Appropriate records should confirm:

  • each child meets all the eligibility criteria, including the hours requirement
  • the ECT was present and delivering the learning program at all times during the period of the claim (and identify who replaced the ECT when not in the room)
  • commencement and cessation dates for each ECT that delivered the kindergarten learning program
  • at all times, the kindergarten learning program is based on the QKLG or another kindergarten learning guideline approved by the QCAA. 

More information

For more information please refer to the QKFS funding requirements (PDF, 3.7MB) or phone the QKFS funding team on (07) 3035 2244.

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Last updated 16 December 2019