Early childhood education and care


​​​​​A great start for all children

Quality early childhood education and care is critical to the learning and wellbeing of children from birth to 8-years. The department provides strategic leadership in early learning and child development, developing and implementing policy, adopting best practice, risk based-regulation, and investing in continuous quality improvement. Using evidence-based strategies, we work with the early childhood sector to ensure all children can access and engage in inclusive, quality early learning.

Kindy Uplift Pilot

In 2021–22, the Kindy Uplift Pilot was launched. This 3-year, $40 million pilot will improve child educational outcomes and build educator capability in more than 400 pre-selected kindergarten services across Queensland from Term 2, 2022.

Kindy Uplift funding is allocated based on educational need and will strengthen children’s access to, and meaningful participation in, the full range of kindergarten experiences. The pilot is targeting improved outcomes across 5 priority areas:

  • social and emotional capability
  • physicality
  • thinking and responding
  • oral language and communication
  • access and inclusion.

In 2023, Kindy Uplift​ will be expanded to 930 services as part of a broader investment to reform kindergarten funding.

Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme

We support universal access to kindergarten for all children in Queensland. Attending a quality kindergarten program provides lifelong benefits for children, especially those experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage.

Investment through the Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) to approved long day care and kindergarten services helps reduce out-of-pocket costs for families.

We fund programs specifically to increase the kindergarten participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage. We also provide a kindergarten program at the Queensland Children’s Hospital to support children undergoing treatment.

In 2021–22, the Queensland Government invested $212.5 million into the QKFS, including $177.3 million to continue providing universal access to early childhood education in the year before school. This funding also encompassed workforce funding, eKindy, transition to kindy, media campaigns and staffing.

From 2023, Queensland will replace the QKFS with a new kindy funding scheme to address improved access, affordability, inclusion and educational outcomes. The scheme includes the commitment that kindergarten in Queensland will be free or very low cost for our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children at both community and long day care kindergarten services.

State Delivered Kindergarten

The State Delivered Kindergarten program (SDK) seeks to ensure all children have access to a kindergarten program, regardless of where they live. In 2022, SDK expanded by a total of 34 schools to provide even more children with the opportunity to attend a face-to-face kindy program at their local state school.

Up to 800 children are expected to attend SDK in Queensland during the 2022 school year, including approximately 177 extra children across the 34 additional schools. Across the state there are now 134 SDK programs offered through 116 state schools or their campuses.

Early Years Places

In 2021–22, the Queensland Government invested $28.3 million to support the ongoing operations of Early Years Places (EYP). An EYP is a 'one-stop-shop' where parents and carers can access multiple services, or referrals to specialist services, for their children and themselves.

EYPs operate in more than 50 communities and are place-based and highly flexible to meet community needs. The types of services offered through EYPs include:

  • early childhood education and care (for example, kindergarten and long-day care)
  • parenting support (for example, home visits, playgroups, parenting programs, music and play therapy and family support services)
  • child and maternal health services (for example, child health screening and allied health support such as speech therapy and immunisation).

Between January 2021 to December 2021, 12,035 children and 9,277 parents and carers accessed EYPs. Approximately 87% of parents and carers reported improved engagement with their child because of the programs and activities provided and 80% reported that the EYP assisted them to access other support services they needed.


In October 2021, we announced a partnership with The Bryan Foundation and commitment to develop and deliver two integrated school-based hubs – FamilyLinQ.

Designed to integrate government and community services, FamilyLinQ will connect education, health and community by providing safe, welcoming and inclusive spaces with a clear focus on improving health, education and life outcomes for children and their families.

Service area performance

Objective: Queensland children engaged in quality early years programs that support learning and development and strengthen successful transitions to school.

Description: Providing children with access to quality early childhood education and care, and strengthening children’s transitions to school. Services include the establishment, funding and monitoring of kindergarten and integrated early years services, and regulation (including assessment and rating) of education and care services.

Early Childhood Educat​ion and Care performance measures

Early childhood education and care2021–22 target/estimate2021–22 actual
​Service standards

Effectiveness measures

Proportion of Queensland children enrolled in an early childhood education program 1



Proportion of enrolments in an early childhood education program1

2021-22 target/estimate 2021-22 actual

Indigenous children 1, 2



Children who reside in disadvantaged areas 1, 3



Proportion of children developmentally on track on 4 or more (of 5) Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains 8, 9


Efficiency measure

Government expenditure per child—kindergarten 4




  1. The 2021–22 target/estimates represent the benchmarks set for kindergarten performance under the associated national agreement.
  2. 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-old children.
  3. The variance between the 2021–22 target/estimate and the 2021–22 actual reflects the uptake by families in disadvantaged areas.
  4. The 2021–22 actual is based on the most recent data published in the 2022 Report on Government Services which uses the previous financial year's expenditure data.​​​
Last updated 19 July 2023