Guidelines for community kindergartens after COVID-19 funding announcement
Queensland community kindergartens will receive a $17 million funding injection to weather the impacts of COVID-19, the state government announced over the weekend.
In light of the welcome, if belated, announcement our union has released a set of guidelines for the operation of community kindergartens in Term 2, which ensure crucial support measures for teachers and assistants, as well as children and parents.
IEUA-QNT Guidelines for community kindergartens
These guidelines are consistent with guidelines operating in schools and are recommended to all employers in the sector.
Key components of the guidelines include:
- Clear advice to parents on the mode of kindergarten operation to 22 May;
- Arrangements for children of essential workers and vulnerable children;
- Providing an educational program which follows the ‘normal’ program as closely as possible;
- No expectation upon staff to provide separate on-site and separate online learning material;
- Arrangements for vulnerable staff members or those who live with vulnerable people, including the option to work from home;
- Staff hours of work consistent with attendance arrangements already in place; and
- On-site health and safety measures.
Click here to download a copy of the guidelines.
Additional funding provides welcome support
The additional $17 million funding will enable free community kindergarten for Term 2 and follows advice the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QFKS) will continue, even in the event of any forced closures.
Our union has welcomed the funding measures to ensure community kindergartens remain viable in these unprecedented times; however, there are concerns about the lack of detail in the funding package.
Despite meeting with senior officers of the Department of Education, our union could not obtain clarity about how the funding will be allocated to individual kindergartens. It was indicated this responsibility would rest with Central Governing Bodies (CGBs).
Our union has no reason to doubt the good intentions of the CGBs in the current situation, but we know they are also focusing on the ability of kindergartens to continue to deliver an educational program.
Members have also raised a number of concerns that are yet to be adequately addressed, including expectations regarding remote learning, clarification around on-site attendance and employee safety protections. Adherence to the IEUA-QNT Guidelines would appropriately address these concerns.
Our union will continue to advocate on behalf of members in community kindergartens.
View further COVID-19 updates on our resources hub.