What is the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme?
The Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) supports services with the cost of delivering an approved kindergarten program, and to help ensure the cost of kindergarten is not a barrier for families.
There are various subsidy payments available under the QKFS, including:
The policy intent of providing the QKFS is to improve lifelong learning outcomes and transitions to school for Queensland children, under the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education (NPA).
The QKFS is underpinned by the:
Community Services Act 2007
- QKFS funding requirements
- Queensland Government standard Terms and Conditions which are also referenced in QGrants.
The QKFS also has linkages with the Education and Care Service's National Law (National Law) and the Education and Care Services National Regulations.
Services must be recognised as an approved kindergarten program provider (KPP), following an application process, in order to receive QKFS funding.
Approved kindergarten programs are designed to meet government requirements and are offered in:
- kindergarten services (including limited hours care services)
- long day care services.
What are the eligibility criteria for QKFS funding?
There are eight eligibility criteria to become an approved KPP. These criteria must be met at all times that the learning program is offered during the year. Of the eight eligibility criteria, three apply to the service and five apply to each child.
To be eligible for QKFS funding, the
- hold a current service approval under the National Law
- have approval to receive the Commonwealth Government Child Care Subsidy
- hold a rating of 'Working towards the National Quality Standard (NQS)' or higher, if the service has been assessed against the NQS by the Department of Education.
To be eligible for QKFS funding, each child must be enrolled and participating in a kindergarten learning program which:
- is delivered by a qualified early childhood teacher
- offers an accredited kindergarten learning program based on the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (or alternative accredited by the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority)
- is provided for children in the year before Prep (please use the
to check whether a child is of eligible age)
- is provided for at least 600 hours a year, typically for 15 hours per week and for 40 weeks a year
- has a fee structure that is not a barrier for families to access the kindergarten program.
These criteria must be applied individually to
each child enrolled in the learning program each week to be considered eligible as part of the QKFS quarterly claims processing.
Why is it important for my service to maintain accurate records?
Services must be able to demonstrate to the department how each child enrolled in the kindergarten learning program meets the eligibility criteria. This data must align with the QKFS quarterly claims lodged by the service through QGrants. When these claims are lodged, it is the responsibility of the Approved Provider to ensure that the number of children claimed is correct.
How does the department monitor services who receive QKFS funding?
The department operates a Service Review Program (SRP) to provide support and advice to long day care services that are approved KPPs, and to ensure compliance with the QKFS funding requirements. Decisions regarding a service's compliance are made during the service review process conducted by the SRP.
The SRP is a separate team not involved in the management of QKFS payments and procedures including the distribution of subsidies to approved KPPs.
Can the department recover any QKFS funding that my service has received?
If approved KPPs cannot demonstrate how QKFS subsidies have been applied at the service delivery level, in addition to how all eligibility criteria have been met, the department
will recover all inaccurately claimed QKFS funding in full.
Following the Queensland Audit Office report No 19 on Early Childhood Education, any suspected fraudulent behaviour must be managed under the department's Fraud and Corruption Control Framework.
The department may place QKFS claims on hold and/or suspend or revoke approved KPP status at any time if the service fails to meet any of the eligibility criteria outlined in the QKFS funding requirements.
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.