Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis called on the Newman Government to come clean about funding to supported care in kindergartens.
“The Queensland Government is trying to create a smokescreen by telling providers that the Federal Government has cut funding to a program which supports children with additional needs in kindergarten.
“This is completely untrue.
“Let me be very clear - we have not changed the program guidelines and we have not cut funding.
“The Federal Government provides $1 billion in funding for state kindergarten programs with $252 million to provide access to kindergarten to all children in the year before full-time schooling.”
“It has always been the responsibility of state governments to provide inclusion support for kindergarten and this has not changed in any way.
“The Queensland Government should stop trying to shirk its responsibility and support the Queensland families who need it the most.
“Once again we have the Queensland Government trying to point the finger at everyone else to hide the sledgehammer they’re taking to basic services that Queenslanders need, like health and education.
“Following their repudiation of the NDIS, the Newman Government continues to wash their hands of responsibility for supporting children with a disability and I’m really concerned about the impact that it is having on kindergarten services in Queensland and the children that access them.
“The Australian Government provides inclusion support for children with additional needs in child care services, but when a child attends kindergarten it has always been the responsibility of the Queensland Government to provide that support.
“So why is the Newman Government determined to cover up their own funding shortfalls and shift the blame to the Federal Government?
Ms Ellis said that most of the states and territories had some kind of program for looking after children with a disability within preschool and kindergarten.
For example the Victorian Government has a Kindergarten Inclusion Support Package for children in kindergarten with additional needs or complex medical problems.
“All I say to the Newman Government is do your job and stop letting down the children and families of Queensland.”