No vacancy at new kindy

A HUDDLE of excited faces around a big cake marked the official opening of the new C&K Taranganba Community Kindergarten.

Children listened intently as Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan opened the centre.

He read the writing on the cake as the youngsters waited patiently for their piece.

The new centre, opened last Wednesday, is a positive step towards addressing the need for child care places in the region.

But, just weeks after the start of the school year, the centre has the "no vacancy" sign out.

"We are pretty much full but still taking enrolments and waiting list applications for future years," said co-director Jane Wood, who oversees the centre with Rachel Dennis and assistant Kym Munns.

"The numbers in all of the primary schools in the region have risen in 2012," Mr Hoolihan said.

"This service is part of our government's commitment to increasing the percentage of four-year-olds participating in a kindergarten program to 95% by mid-2013.

Mr Hoolihan stressed the importance of the first five years of a child's life.

"Access to education helps develop their social skills and early learning and can make a big difference in a child's life," he said.

Premier Anna Bligh recently announced an increase to the Health Care Card subsidy up to $2600 per eligible-age child per year in an approved kindergarten program to give more families access to approved kindergarten programs.

With the expected population increase in the next few years, the need for childcare places on the Capricorn Coast is only expected to grow.

The Queensland Government plans to establish 240 extra kindergarten services across the state by 2014 to keep pace with the population.

 



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