[singlepic id=320 w=320 h=240 float=left]More children in the southern corridor of Cairns will get a flying start to their educational journey with a new quality kindergarten service to open in 2012 – a year ahead of schedule.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the service to be co-located at White Rock State School had been fast-tracked to open up opportunities sooner for young children in the region.

“The new service was originally scheduled to open in 2013 and it has been brought forward to ensure more Cairns children benefit from a quality early childhood education,” Mr Pitt said.

“I’ve spoken in State Parliament about the need to deliver more services sooner for young families in our rapidly-growing southern suburbs.

“As the father of an almost two-year-old, I understand the importance of the early years in a child’s development.

“Kindergarten provides a strong educational plank to ensure children get a flying start to learning and life.

“It’s part of the Bligh Government’s commitment to provide universal access to a quality kindergarten service for all Queensland kids in the year before Prep.

“We are investing $321 million to establish up to 240 extra kindergarten services across the state by 2014.”

Mr Pitt said having services co-located at schools had benefits for children and parents.

“It means a smoother transition to Prep for children because they’re already familiar with the school environment,” he said.

“It’s also convenient for parents who have school-aged children as they can do drop-offs and pick-ups at the same location.

“National and international research has found experiences in the early years of life have long-term impacts on health, learning and behaviour.

“A quality early childhood education and care program, such as kindergarten, creates the stimulating and nurturing environment children need to thrive.”

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