A great start for all children


We understand healthy, confident and resilient Queensland children who can successfully navigate a complex world are key to our future.

By providing opportunities for every child to engage in quality early learning experiences, the department is laying the foundations for every child to achieve better learning, health, social and employment outcomes throughout their entire lives.

In 2019–20, we continued to focus on our strong partnerships with families, communities and the early childhood sector to give all our children a great start in life.

Early Years Places

We know that a child’s early learning and development experiences are important for successful transitions from home to early childhood services, and on to school. That is why the department has continued to invest in Early Years Places in more than 50 locations across Queensland.

Early Years Places provide a mix of programs including playgroup, early childhood education and care, health services, and family and parent support, making it easy for families to access a range of early childhood activities and support from the one welcoming location.

Families grow and learn together

In 2020, the department launched the $2.2 million KindyLinQ pilot program in 25 schools in priority locations.

The free, 12-month, play-based program provides a safe, welcoming space for parents/carers and their children to participate in fun early learning experiences in the year before kindergarten. KindyLinQ is led by a qualified teacher and early years support coordinator, with the program also offering guidance to families about how to continue their child’s learning and development at home and build confidence to support their transition to kindy and then into Prep.

Effective regulation

As the regulator of early childhood education and care services in Queensland, the department plays a vital role in making sure children are safe and receive high-quality education and care.

By investing an additional $26.5 million over 2 years from 2019–20 for the regulation of the early childhood education and care sector, the department has continued to support the delivery of compliant, high-quality early childhood education and care services that continually improve. This ensures that children can experience quality education and care in environments that safeguard and promote their health, safety and wellbeing.

Kindergarten for remote Queensland communities

Children in selected remote communities can attend a kindergarten program at their local state school provided by the Department of Education. In 2019, 100 kindergarten programs were approved to be provided by the department in selected remote or discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community state schools which delivered kindergarten to support approximately 620 children.

The department also provides access to a range of kindergarten programs including eKindy and eKindy pod programs and hospital kindy delivered through distance education. In 2020, we continued to fund the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme (Bushkids) to facilitate groups of eKindy children with online support from eKindy teachers at the Brisbane School of Distance Education. These initiatives are supporting rural and remote families and children with a range of options to have a great start to their education, regardless of where they live.

Early Childhood Education and Care performance measures

Early Childhood Education and Care
​Service standards

Effectiveness measures

Proportion of Queensland children enrolled in an early childhood education program1, 2, 3, 4



Proportion of enrolments in an early childhood education program1, 2, 3, 4



Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children5, 6



Children who reside in disadvantaged areas7



Proportion of children developmentally on track on 4 or more (of 5) Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains8, 9


Efficiency measure

Government expenditure per child—kindergarten10, 11




  1. The National Early Childhood Education and Care Census is conducted in the first week of August each year. Data is published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the Preschool Education, Australia publication catalogue 4240.0.
  2. The nationally agreed benchmark established under the National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education is 95%. Under the NPA for Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, Queensland is committed to achieving and maintaining access to an early childhood education program for all children in the year before full-time school.
  3. Early childhood education program: a quality play-based program in accordance with the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standard delivered by a degree-qualified early childhood teacher.
  4. This service standard represents the proportion of children enrolled from each cohort group as a proportion of the estimated total population for that cohort group in Queensland.
  5. Results over 100% are possible as the nationally agreed measure is the number of children enrolled (aged 4 or 5) divided by the estimated resident population of 4 year olds
  6. Indigenous: a person who identifies at enrolment to be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
  7. Disadvantaged: a person who resides in statistical areas classified by the ABS in the bottom quintile using the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage.
  8. The AEDC is a population measure of how children have developed by the time they start school. Data is captured on 5 domains of early childhood development: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge. It is a national census based on a large population, which tends to change incrementally. There is no Target/Estimate as the census is conducted every 3 years with the next census to be conducted in 2021. The 2019–20 Estimated Actual is based on the 2018 census results.
  9. Our Future State: Advancing Queensland's Priorities includes a priority target to reduce the percentage of Queensland children developmentally vulnerable in one or more AEDC domains to 22% by 2025 (which is a complementary target, being the reverse to increasing the proportion of children developmentally on track).
  10. This service standard was previously worded Average cost of service per child–kindergarten in the 2018–19 Service Delivery Statement. This has been updated for clarity of wording. No change has been made to the calculation methodology.
  11. This service standard is calculated by dividing Government real recurrent expenditure on kindergarten (preschool) services by the number of four and 5 year old children enrolled in kindergarten in Queensland. The cost per service does not include fees paid by parents and carers. Funding is provided by both the Queensland Government and the Australian Government. The actual figure is based on the most recent data published in the 2020 report on Government Services. The higher than expected government expenditure per child can be attributed to changes in ABS counting rules which resulted in fewer children reported as enrolled in a kindergarten program in 2019 (revised down from an original count of 66,276 to 62,712 children). On a cost per child basis, this reduction of approximately 3,500 children increased reported government expenditure per child from $2,780 (which was within range of target) to $2,938 per child. The original target of $2,700 has not been updated to reflect ABS’s revised counting rules.

Read the Service Delivery Statements (PDF, 996KB) for further performance information.


*Note: Participation rates can exceed 100% because (a) five-year-olds are included in the enrolments (numerator) but excluded from population estimates (denominator) and (b) there may be some duplication of state and national enrolment counts when the datasets are combined.

Last updated 12 November 2020