Early childhood education and care


​​​Strategic objective: A great start for all children​

We are setting critical foundations for learning and wellbeing for children from birth to 8-years through quality early childhood education and care services. The department provides strategic leadership in early learning and child development, using evidence-based strategies to work in partnership with the early childhood sector to ensure all children can access and participate in high-quality, inclusive early learning.

Kindy for All

Kindergarten lays the foundation for a great start for all children and gives every child the opportunity to realise their potential.

We are investing $1 billion in kindergarten reforms over the next 5 years so that children, particularly those experiencing vulnerability, can access and benefit from quality, affordable and inclusive kindergarten programs.

From January 2023, kindy is cheaper for 40,000 families and of those families, 14,000 will attend kindy for free or for a very low cost.

As part of Kindy for All, $19 million is being invested annually to support inclusive service delivery. This includes the Kindergarten Inclusion Support Scheme, Inclusion Ready funding and Kindergarten Inclusion Service. The Kindergarten Inclusion Service provides educators with free specialist advice and information to support the inclusion of more Queensland children with complex needs into kindergarten programs.

More information about the kindergarten program and kindy savings​ is available.

As part of the 2023–24 Queensland State Budget, the government announced that from 2024, kindergarten will be free for all Queensland families. This will allow Queensland families to benefit from free kindy regardless of whether they attend a sessional kindergarten or kindergarten in long day care.

More information about free kindergarten​ is available.

Regional and remote services

The department is committed to ensuring all Queensland children can access a teacher-led kindergarten program, no matter where they live.

As part of the $1 billion kindy reform, $38.5 million will be invested over the next 5 years to support more than 300 regional and remote sessional and long day care kindergarten services to attract and retain qualified and skilled early childhood teachers. This funding will also support the financial viability of over 120 regional and remote sessional kindergartens.

eKindy​ also offers an ‘at-home’ kindergarten program for children living in rural and remote areas, travelling or medically unable to attend a local early childhood service, in the year before Prep. This flexible program, delivered through the Brisbane School of Distance Education, is supported by a qualified early childhood teacher and is organised to meet the needs of the family and child.

In 2023, eKindy celebrated a 10-year operating milestone with more than 2,000 children accessing the program since its inception in 2013. In 2023, more than 145 children were registered in eKindy. There are 12 eKindy pods also operating at 8 Queensland state schools to provide children in selected communities the opportunity to socialise with their eKindy peers.

State Delivered Kindergarten​

The State Delivered Kindergarten​ (SDK) program provides children in selected Queensland communities, where there have been barriers to accessing kindergarten, the opportunity to participate in a face-to-face kindergarten program at their local state school. SDK schools are provided with resources and tailored support to deliver a quality kindergarten program in a composite or dedicated kindy setting.

In 2023, the SDK program expanded to a further 2 schools, bringing the total number of face-to-face kindergarten programs offered across 118 Queensland state schools and campuses to 136. In 2023, SDK supported more than 850 children to access kindergarten.

Kindy Uplift Pilot

In 2022–23, $11.95 million was provided to 934 eligible early childhood services as part of the Kindy Uplift Pilot program​.

The pilot funds kindergarten services, including community kindergartens and long day care services, to strengthen children’s access to, and participation in, kindergarten. Targeted programs are used to respond to children’s learning and development needs through evidence-based initiatives across key priority areas.


In 2023, the department continued its partnership with The Bryan Foundation to deliver FamilyLinQ​, the state’s first, fully integrated school-based hub located at Kingston State School.

The FamilyLinQ hub will bring together high-quality early years learning and schooling, wrap-around health, wellbeing services and support at a single location for children and their families. The Kingston FamilyLinQ hub will be ready for students in Term 1 2024.

Planning for a second FamilyLinQ hub that will be located at a new primary school in Park Ridge is underway.

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 Education and Care performance measures​

Early childhood education​ and care 2022–23 target/estimate​ 2022–23 actual​​​

​Effectiveness measures

Proportion of​ Queensland children enrolled in an early childhood education program1


​Proportion of enrolments in an early childhood education program:

  • Indigenous children1

​Proportion of enrolments in an early childhood education program:

  • ​Children who reside in disadvantaged areas1

Proportion of children developmentally on track on 4 or more (of 5) Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains2


Efficiency measure

Government expenditure per child – kindergarten3​



  1. 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.
  2. The 2022–23 target/estimate has not been included as the AEDC is conducted every 3 years with the next census to be conducted in 2024. Results are expected to be made available in early 2025.
  3. The 2022–23 actual is based on the most recent data published in the 2023 Report on Government Services which uses the previous financial year's expenditure data. The variance between the 2022–23 target/estimate and the 2022–23 estimated actual reflects a half-year uptake of the increased funding made available to the sector from 1 January 2023.

Additional performance information

The department collects and monitors a range of data which provides statistical and additional information about participation, outcomes and achievements. The following data is available.

Last updated 14 February 2024