This weekend Little Miss A attended Kindy orientation! KINDY! So some background
What is Kindergarten?
1. In Australia we have a “NATIONAL Curriculum” yet we still don’t all use the same language when it comes to the names of school years. Kindy in one state called be Preschool/Kinder/Preparatory in another.
2. In Queensland, Kindergarten is the first year of “non compulsory schooling” In their Kindy year children must turn 4 before 30 June. This is similar to Preschool in NSW. Kindergarten has seen some massive reforms thanks to the Queensland Government and as a result Kindy’s (as they are usually known) are popping up everywhere! When Master O started Kindy we had one fairly local Kindy (still not within our suburb) and now we have about 5!
3. Enrolment. Gaining a position in a Kindy is competitive. The new local Kindy’s are struggling with waiting lists as everyone clammers for the limited positions. Most Kindergartens will only offer between 40 and 50 places a year. Get in EARLY!!! Unlike the “State/Public” schooling system no Kindy HAS to offer you a place. It is first in best dressed. Your child must turn 4 before the 30 June during their Kindy year. Please tell me who changed this instead of using the calendar year and I will hunt them down! I have two children who would have been the oldest in their class who are now close to being the youngest! The following year (after Kindergarten) children start Prep which is the first year of compulsory schooling.
4. Kindergarden is generally attended on a part time basis. You do not HAVE to send your child to Kindergarden but it is great preparation for school. As a heads up I have not had a child in my Prep class for the past 6 years that has NOT gone to Kindergarden.
5. Kindergartens are run by either The Creche and Kindergarten Association (C & K) (Probably the most common and the type Master O attended) Within some daycare centres and most recently by Private or Catholic Schools (The type Little Miss A will attend.) All Kindergardens in QLD are run by 4 year university qualified teachers (Thanks QLD government!) and although they have the same curriculum guidelines each “institution” will vary in their structure and expectations. Some will require uniforms, booklists, backpacks and include specialist lessons such as a language or music. Others will be completely play based and require nothing more than a hat and some lunch. Of course this means that fees will vary too! But all Kindergarten Fees in Queensland are partially covered by the Government!
So Little Miss A is now enrolled, has a confirmed place and this weekend attended her Kindy Orientation! She has met her teachers, wandered her classroom and started to become familiar with the routines and peers. It is all happening!
Later this week, Preparing Your Child For School – How to choose a Kindy/School!
and then..my favourite part!
Uniforms, booklists, name labels, lunch boxes, notes and HAIR ACCESSORIES!
For more info about Kindy in QLD you can check out The Queensland Governments KINDY PAGE.