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Race to save community kindergartens

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Community kindergartens are under threat as a result of a change to the enrolment threshold to access funding and staff, placed upon them by the McGowan Labor Government.

Shadow Minister for Education Donna Faragher recently visited Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten to discuss their significant concerns surrounding this unfair and discriminatory education cut.
“Community kindergartens have long been recognised as an acceptable alternative to school-based kindergarten programs,” Mrs Faragher said, “They are an important option for many families and have been supported by successive governments.
“Letters sent to community kindergartens from the Department of Education in December last year and the Minister for Education’s responses in Parliament reveal the true extent of the Government’s plans. From next year, the enrolment threshold for community kindergartens to access operational funding and staff from the Department of Education will increase from 10 to 16 confirmed student enrolments.

“To make matters worse, community kindergartens are required to provide confirmed enrolments for the following school year by 10 August 2018, just four months away.
“If they do not reach the magical number, their funding will be cut creating uncertainty and anxiety for families and staff. This early deadline does not take into account late or changing enrolments.
“Changing the rules without any consultation is a clear attempt by the McGowan Government to reduce the number of smaller community kindergartens.”
President of the Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten, Joanne Matthewson, said most community kindergartens were purpose-built for kindergarten children and were managed by parent committees in collaboration with dedicated teaching staff provided by the Department of Education.

“Community kindergartens give parents a choice for their children to start their schooling life in a place that embraces the outdoors and play-based learning, while still incorporating standard educational curriculum,” Mrs Matthewson said.

You can contact Bullsbrook Community Kindergarten for an enrolment pack on 9571 1392 or email bullsbrook.c.kindy@bigpond.com.